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I was watching the Netflix show Wednesday and in Episode 3 ("Friend or Woe"), the titular character, Wednesday is out on an "outreach" excursion from her school Nevermore to the nearby town of Jericho.

During the episode, she decides to go to an old abandoned building in the middle of the woods (note: she walks there and the weather is relatively mild in Jericho). Whilst there, she has a vision and awakes to rain and dark.

She later returns to town for a final 'presentation' in the town square, during which it's quite sunny.

How does the weather change so drastically in such a short period of time?

Note: prior to leaving the town for the abandoned hall, Wednesday is shown the location on a map, and although the map is clearly not to-scale, the shack doesn't seem too far out of town (she walks there after all).

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    When I went to Florida it rained so hard at 4pm that I thought I was going to be drowned. The sky went dark and the heavens opened. By 4.10 it had stopped and the sun came back out and by 4.30, everything was dry again with blue skies
    – Valorum
    Dec 12, 2022 at 0:02
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    So in a show that includes a disembodied sentient human hand, you expect realistic meteorology? Dec 12, 2022 at 0:44
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    @OrganicMarble, you must not live in the US Midwest. That's totally realistic meteorology. See my answer below. Dec 12, 2022 at 19:12
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    @OrganicMarble I'm asking for exactly that reason, I wonder if there's any supernatural weather changing stuff going on. Adding to the spookiness.
    – Möoz
    Dec 12, 2022 at 22:02
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    @OrganicMarble Good writing should have established universal expectations, and nothing about a disembodied hand suggests we should expect unrealistic meteorology. You wouldn't expect laser-shooting robots in a Tolkien universe, no matter how unrealistic dragons are.
    – Misha R
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:22

2 Answers 2

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It was a thunderstorm that built up all morning. Once it was gone, sun was shining again.

Also, the Dedication might have been later in the day than you think.

For me, the main source of confusion was that Weems implied that the Dedication would happen right after the volunteer work, but that is not the case. She also didn't outright say it.

The Timeline

Let's start with what Weems has to say about the plans for Outreach Day:

WEEMS: All students will report for their volunteer jobs at 10:00 am sharp, followed by a community lunch at 1. As you know, this year Outreach Day culminates in a very special event, the dedication of a new memorial statue in the town square, which will also include performances by Nevermore students.
(later)
WEEMS: Wednesday, don't worry about your cello. I'll have it brought to the town square this afternoon.

So the volunteer work by the students is from 10-1, then there is a lunch, and at some point, there is the dedication of the statue. This is what confused me first, because I though the dedication would be immediately after the lunch, but it happens a bit later in the day.

We don't know exactly when, but what we do learn later on is that it won't be over at 2pm (maybe not even started yet), as Wednesday is worried missing it should she leave to the woods at that time:

TYLER: Hey,listen,the ruins are kind of tricky to find. I could take you this afternoon. My shift ends at 2:00.
WEDNESDAY: Principal Weems would hang, draw and quarter me if I miss the big statue dedication.

In the same conversation, a few other things are made clear:

  • Wednesday bailed on her volunteer work, meaning that the time she left to go into the woods is still before 1pm.
  • Wednesday feels comfortable hiking to the location of the old pilgrim house and back before the dedication of the statue
  • The house isn't that far away from the city, as seen on this map (so the overall hike itself won't take a lot of time):

Way to the Pilgrim House

Then Wednesday starts her hike into the woods, but before we follow her, let's take a look at the weather in the morning:

The Weather in the Morning

At the beginning of Outreach Day, when the mayor gives a speech to the Nevermore Students, the weather clearly isn't very good: The sky is grey and the ground is wet, as if it has just rained.

The beginning of Outreach Day

Throughout the whole volunteer work that we see on screen, the weather stays gloomy and grey, but we see no rain.

After the Vision

Wednesday then goes to the forest, has her vision, an unspecified amount of time passes, she regains her consciousness and not only is it raining - as you said - but a whole thunderstorm is going on, complete with thunder and lightning.

The Dedication

In the next scene, we cut to the dedication. We see that the sun is shining again, but we can also see that the dark clouds are still visible in the sky, and we can make out reflections of rain water puddles on some roof tops:

Puddles on Rooftops

If you look closely while the camera makes its way to the dedication, you can see more half-dried puddles of rain here and there.

There are also several clues that the time skip that we just experienced - between Wednesday leaving the forest and the dedication - encompassed more than only the hike back to town:

  • We see Wednesday with her cello, which she had to pick up from where ever it had been delivered to.
  • Wednesday is dry (might be a case of this though).
  • She had enough time to form her plan to burn the statue together with Thing, and Thing had enough time to prepare - we see it giving her a thumbs-up before she enters the festivities
  • The shadow cast by the church is pretty long now, indicating that it is now quite late in the day

Conclusion

What we saw is a rainy, gloomy morning, culminating in a thunderstorm somewhere around lunchtime. There is a large enough time gap between the thunderstorm and the dedication for the weather to clear up and the sun to shine again.

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Speaking as someone who grew up and lived in the US Midwest for 40 years, specifically eastern Iowa, the weather can change dramatically in short periods.

It's not uncommon for the weather to go from partly cloudy to absolute downpour and then cloudless in less than an hour. Even more, I've seen it go from 90F and perfectly cloudless to pitch black, driving rain, needing a jacket to stay warm, and possible tornadoes in about an hour in the middle of the day.

I've also seen storms that leave a very specific path. One rainstorm I remember seeing two lanes of a four-lane road be wet and the other 2 lanes be bone dry. Snowstorms can be local, too, where there's a "strip" of snow 1-2 miles wide and nothing anywhere else, or one side of town gets 2+ inches of snow and the other doesn't.

Also, but not relevant, I've known it to increase or decrease temperatures of 60-80F degrees in just 24 hours, meaning it'll be -20F one day and the next will be 40F. It's pretty common in the spring and fall to have your furnace on in the mornings, turn the AC on in the mid-afternoon, and then turn the furnace on again before going to bed.

A common phrase in the Midwest (not just Iowa) is "If you don't like the weather, wait 30 minutes, it'll change." Sometimes the number of minutes varies and some people leave off the "it'll change", but you get the idea.

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  • I used to live in Tyler, Texas across the street from a sports club with tennis courts. One summer afternoon, it rained on our side of the street - dark sky, absolute gully washer rain. Across the street (two lanes) people were playing tennis on dry courts in the sunshine.
    – JRE
    Dec 12, 2022 at 21:29
  • <laughs in Chicagoan> Try having the largest lakes in the world next to you. A month ago it was 70f for lunch and snowing by evening. I liked it better when we called it global warming. Climate change is just a thing that happens, sometimes on a half hour basis, +1.
    – Mazura
    Dec 14, 2022 at 4:15

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