There’s Always a 10% Chance

I was just looking over my local forecast and noticed something I’ve never noticed before:

There’s never less than a 10% chance of precipitation. 

Clearly, there are days everyone knows it’s not gonna rain. But it appears it is against weatherman code to ever count it out.

A few possible thoughts behind why this might be:

  1. Anything is possible right? There is always, scientifically, a chance that it could rain.
  2. This is the ultimate CYA. If it rains, you gotta be able to point to at least claiming it was an option, and therefore, it’s best to just never count it out so you’ve always got something to fall back on.
  3. People are lazy, and want things in even, incremental numbers. Why isn’t there ever a 34% chance of rain, or 4% chance? Maybe 10% covers everything from 0-10%.

I can’t clarify why I think this is relevant and/or post-worthy, but it just feels like something worth pointing out. If you can reap some nugget of wisdom from it, please share.


2 responses to “There’s Always a 10% Chance

  1. Brett,

    Very astute observation. I like #2. To me it is like the one person in a meeting that raises his or her hand and says, “If we do A, B could happen.” Since they always bring up the negative outlier possibilities, 10% of the time they are right and they pull an “I told you so” moment. 10% is easily forgotten if it doesn’t come to pass, but its just enough to show up on the radar just in case.

  2. Bill – so true. The 10% is just enough to make everyone remember that the naysayer knows what he’s talking about. But even a broken clock is right twice a day, right?

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