WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I'm looking to get married next year in September in an outdoor style manner. Can you predict what the weather conditions would be like in that month, particularly around the 3rd Saturday and around the time of 1:00 p.m.?

Posted September 3, 2007 12:35 p.m. EDT

Related question from Russell:    "Hello, I have recently became engaged to the love of my life. We plan to have an outdoor wedding in the year of 2008 on a saturday in the fall. We are considering the months of september and october. I am emailing you to see if you have any advice as to what would be the best saturday out of these two months to have such an event out doors. I thank you for your time."

MIKE MOSS SAYS:    It is impossible to make a specific forecast for a time frame that far out in the future, but we can examine climatology for those periods and make some inferences about weather conditions that have a reasonably good chance of prevailing at the time.

Regarding the third Saturday in September next year, that falls on the 20th, and we find that the normal high for the date is around 81, with a standard deviation of +/- 7 degrees (i.e. there is a bout a 2 in 3 chance the high will fall between 74 and 88 degrees) while the hottest temperature for that day has been 94 and the lowest high has been 61. Rainfall on that date has ranged from zero to as much as 2.2 inches, and in September there are an average of 8 days with measurable precipitation, so there is a little more than a 1 in 4 chance that rain will occur at some time on that day.

Those numbers can be compared with a couple of dates in early and late October in answer to Russell's question. On October 5th, the normal high is 76, with a standard deviation of +/- 8 degrees and an observed range of 96 to 55) and a range of observed rainfall from zero to 1.4 inches. In October, average monthly rainfall is a little lower than in September and measurable rain occurs and average of 7 days, so the odds of rain sometime on a given day are a little over 1 in 5. By October 25th, the normal high is 68 with a standard deviation of +/- 8 and a historical range 82 to 50. Rainfall has ranged from zero to 2.0 inches.

In general, it is hard to separate one date within September and Octobetr from another regarding precipitation, although the odds of dry weather increase a small amount as we progress through those two months. Temperatures, of course, tend to range rather warm in early to mid September and then drop off notably through October.

Congratulations and good luck to both of you!