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Have you ever used your phone’s Weather app to check the forecast and been presented with details about the anticipated percentage probability of rain?
Well, it appears that many of us have been interpreting the data incorrectly because just recently have people learned how a “30% chance of rain” is determined on weather applications.
If that’s news to you, don’t worry – you’re not the only one.
There has been a lot of misunderstanding around what the probability of rain actually signifies for a very long time.
One X user claimed: “Yeah when the weather says that there’s a 30 percent chance of rain it means there’s a 100 percent chance of rain in that area, but that it will only rain on 30 percent of that area.
“I only learned that about a year ago myself, not like anyone tells you that unless you Google it.”
TV personality Scarlett Moffatt was also under this impression.
The 32-year-old previously took to TikTok, saying: “So all this time that I’ve like been caught in the rain and people are like, ‘Why haven’t you brought a jacket?’ and stuff like that…
“It’s because I’ve just found out that on the weather app, when it says ’30 percent rain’, I thought that meant ’30 percent chance of rain’.
“It doesn’t mean that, it means that 30 percent of your area will be covered in rain.”
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I’m sorry to break it to you, but that is entirely untrue.
The Met Office moved quickly to clarify the situation and put an end to all the rumours, with weatherman Alex Deakin lending his expertise.
He said: “Certainly for the Met Office app, the percentage of rain means the chance of rain at that time for that location.
“So 60 percent means a 60 percent chance of rain, 40 percent chance of dry.
“There are different ways of expressing percentages and in the USA they do use the area one, but generally not here in the UK.
“So if you’ve got the Met Office app, that’s one less thing to worry about; mind unblown.”
The Met Office has also broken it down on its website too, stating: “In weather forecasting, suppose the Met Office says that the probability of rain tomorrow in your region is 80 percent.
“They aren’t saying that it will rain in 80 percent of the land area of your region, and not rain in the other 20 percent. Nor are they saying it will rain for 80 percent of the time.
“What they are saying is there is an 80 percent chance of rain occurring at any one place in the region, such as in your garden.”
Well, there you have it.
Guess you really do learn something new every day.