WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I am curious about weather information for late August in Warrenton, NC. Maybe I should ask this: if you were to attend an outdoor wedding, say on August 23, would you rather go at 12pm or 6pm? I've seen data that the humidity is lower in the evening, but I have not seen the average temperatures for noon vs evening. Either way, I know it will be hot, but I'm having a hard time scheduling my wedding! Help!

Posted May 21, 2008

MIKE MOSS SAYS:     Katie,     The times you picked make it a little difficult to choose which to go for based on weather, as there are some trade-offs either way. Here are some things to consider. On average, it will tend to be a couple degrees warmer at 6 pm than at noon, but it is also not unusual on a given day for the temperature to be about the same at those two times. Of course, at noon the temperature is usually trending up, so it will tend to get hotter as the ceremony or other activities continue. This increase in temperature results in a decrease in relative humidity heading into the afternoon.

Conversely, at 6 pm, while temperature and relative humidity can be about the same as noon, in many cases the temperature is a little higher and the RH a little lower by then. At 6pm, at least the temperature is usually beginning to decrease (as a result, the RH will increase a bit through the evening).

A couple of other considerations come to mind. Regardless of the actual air temperature, it may be worth noting that the sun is at a higher and more direct angle at noon and through the early afternoon, so unless you have lots of shade available, it could be more uncomfortable then just due to direct sunlight. On the other hand, we usually have several days in August with isolated to widely scattered thunderstorms that pop up in the later afternoon and die off in the evening. While the chances aren't all that high for a given point, they would tend to be more likely in the hour either side of 6 pm than they would around noon.

So, I hope that hasn't all made your decision even harder! As you noted, it would typically be pretty hot and often fairly humid at either time on a day in late August, so the difference is probably fairly small. Whichever time you choose, I would also suggest having a backup plan for either an indoor alternate or a backup date, just on the off chance that a tropical system happens to roll through the area on that date, which can make for cooler temperatures, but also a chance at much more extensive rainfall. Good luck, and best wishes!

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