OTTUMWA — The summer’s first significant heat wave is coming to an end, bringing a return of all-too-familiar rain to southeast Iowa.

Daytime highs reached 90 degrees or higher on four of the five days between Thursday and Monday, but are not quite expected to reach that mark over the course of the next week. Instead, a chance of storms will move in. It’s not enough to forecast a washout on any one day, but means that the area will likely see rain at least a couple times.

The highest chances according to the National Weather Service are on Wednesday and Thursday, both of which have a 50 percent chance of storms. That could have an effect on Thursday’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Forecasters believe there could be two opportunities for storms on the holiday. One arrives in the morning. The second is late in the day, which could interfere with fireworks displays depending on where and when storms form.

The good news is that no severe weather is expected. The Storm Prediction Center gives southeast Iowa only a marginal risk on Wednesday. Thursday doesn’t even crack the SPC’s scale for assessing risk.

While temperatures will not be as hot as over the past week, it will remain muggy. People will still need to take precautions as the heat index will top out in the 90s each day.

Several area communities have celebrations scheduled for Thursday. Agency’s Fourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m. In Ottumwa, First Church of the Open Bible plans to host its second family festival from 5-8 p.m. at the Jimmy Jones Shelter in Ottumwa Park.

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