There’s a chance of rain, which is fine by me.
I’ve noticed something. Those who have followed along know that I have a thing about– some issues with– weather forecasting. Even before I started to blog I kept spreadsheets of forecasts and actuals. The columns were weather.gov. accuweather.com, The Weather Channel.com. And I did some reading. I have some books.
What I’ve noticed is that the probability of precipitation has become increasingly more like look out the freaking window.
So first off, you need to define a time frame. It used to be that people watched television in the morning while they– BY THE WAY, SEE HOW FREAKING EASY IT IS TO WRITE A SENTENCE WHERE THE NOUN AND VERB AGREE IN NUMBER– made coffee. That’s what Mr. Big Food does.
Our current Weather Guy is Joel, but– and you can ask The Girls about this– we’ve had other Weather Guys in our lives.
So Mr. Big Food brings me coffee and then he goes back into the kitchen to listen to Joel’s forecast.
I think there is an assumption that the probability of precipitation that a fellow like Joel would make and repeat several times between 5:30 and 8 O’Clock in the morning would have a shelf life of about 18-24 hours.
For example, “There’s a good chance it will rain later this afternoon.”
So I go outside and I see a very blue sky– and I spent some time in Eastern Carolina, I know what a blue sky looks like– and I look at the radar on my phone. As I zoom out I see that the left side of my screen is green & yellow & orange.
In the moment, there is 0 chance of rain.
Looking forward, there is about* 100% chance of rain.
What the weather folk have taken to do is to update their % based on observation. Very Beysian. But not as helpful to long term planning as “There’s a good chance it will rain later this afternoon.”
If I just looked at my phone in a moment in time, I would have thought that the chance of rain, today, was 40%– as the wind blew West.
It’s pouring down rain out there.