Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weather Report

A few years ago, I was at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival when I happened upon a television news crew filming a live weather report.

"Today, expect to see a 40% chance of rain in the city of Vancouver..."

This sentence alone was hardly unusual given that we were in Vancouver, part of the "Wet Coast" known for a high annual rainfall.  What I did take issue with though, was that it was already raining while they were making this live report.  There were big fat raindrops falling from the sky, one landing on the nose of the weather guy, yet he was announcing only a "40% chance of rain."

While many of the other festival patrons were pulling hoods over their heads, or pulling out umbrellas, I looked at the weather report crew, shook my head, held out my hand to catch a few raindrops and raised an eyebrow.  They blatantly ignored me and the rain that was now spotting the weather guy's formerly perfectly powdered face.

When does a 40% chance of rain become a 100% chance of rain?  Does it have to rain 100% of the day in 100% of the city for it to count?  If it only rains for 9 hours and 36 minutes - that's 40% of a day for those of you wondering where I pulled that number from - does that constitute a 40% chance of rain?   Or does it mean a 100% chance of rain, 40% of the time that day?

In my humble opinion, if it is currently raining while you are standing outdoors in the heart of the city, that is a 100% chance of rainfall that day in that city.

But then, I'm not a professionally trained weather reporter or meteorologist, so what do I know?  I think that from now on though, I'll just stick to looking out the window and holding a hand out to test the weather, rather than trust the weather reports from that particular news station to be accurate.

~ Jeanie

PS: Polgara posted a comment today on FB that made me think of this incident, so she's to blame for this post! *g*

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