Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 09-04-2014, 01:46 PM
excavating (for a mind) is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: In a canyon, in a cavern
Posts: 1,596

What are "Rain Chances"

When I first became aware of the Weather on the News, the Weatherman wore a suit and stood in front of a paper map of the US and drew on it with a magic marker, showing the location of various lows, highs, and fronts. He also spoke of a xx% chance of rain for the upcoming days.

Today, we have a ditzy weathergirl dressed in either a pantsuit (although jeans are not totally out of the question, it seems) or a skirt and blouse (on special days, I guess) who has trouble with the English language (although I suspect English is the only language she speaks), confusing prepositions, using "into" where "in" is called for, as "today it will reach 96 or 97, lower near the coast, with it only getting to 94 into Houston". I mean, is there really enough difference between 96 or 97 and 94 to justify mangling the language?

Anyway, such weathergirl also mentions that the "Rain Chances today are only 20%". Not "there is a 20% Chance of Rain" but "Rain Chances". What is the difference between a 20% chance of rain and rain chances at 20%? Of course, I know that what she means is "it ain't gonna rain, no way, no how" but people like to have hope, so I guess saying there is a small chance gets you more viewers. But, when the rain chances jump to 30%, she suggests you get your umbrellas out. Really, less than a 1 out of 3 chances of rain, when it has been so long since it rained that it could rain for 30 minutes without even getting the ground wet and she thinks anyone is going to bother with an umbrella?

Maybe I should have put this in the Pit, so I could rant with a bit more style, but I really would like a factual answer to what the difference between "a chance of rain" and "a rain chance".


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017