“It’s Probably Going to Rain” is Good Enough for Me

barry currin, beaverdamusa.comI’ve always empathized with weather forecasters. They get blamed when it rains. Some people get mad at them when it snows, and others get mad when it doesn’t. Theirs is also a thankless job. While sitting on the beach in the sunshine, have you ever heard anyone say, “Hey, let’s call Stormy Bob down at Channel 15 and tell him we enjoyed the day?” Nope, never.

But now, weather forecasters are getting us back for all that misplaced anger we’ve been throwing at them since the invention of the barometer.

They’re starting to give the rain chance in increments of 1 percent. The only place I have seen it is on The Weather Channel app on the iPhone. But it will certainly spread like wildfire fueled by a 30 mph westerly wind.

So, instead of forecasting a 20-percent chance of rain, it now says we have a 21-percent chance, or a 17-percent chance.

As I write this, we are under a 34-percent chance. I have no idea what that means. Back in the good old days (which in this case was about two weeks ago), when the weather guy told me we had a 30-percent chance, I’m mowing the yard. But if he told me there’s a 40-percent chance, I might wait until tomorrow. But 34 percent? I’m not programmed to be able to decipher that into whether or not to carry an umbrella.

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For some reason, I know more than my fair share of accountants, and I would gladly trade salaries with any of them. However, I’m not cut out to do what they do. You’ve heard of cost accountants and tax accountants. I prescribe to the little-known discipline of “close enough” accounting. I’m surprised it hasn’t caught on better because it’s much easier.

“What were your postage expenses in 2013?”

“Let’s see. I mailed a couple hundred letters at 40-whatever cents a stamp which comes out to somewhere between 80 and 90 bucks. So let’s just call it $85.

Poof. See how easy that is? No pesky receipts, no calculator.

Life is hard. We round off numbers to make it just a little bit easier. And there is no reason whatsoever we should have to try and figure out what a 64-percent chance of rain means while we’re standing in the charcoal aisle in the grocery store.

Heaven forbid transportation departments get wind of this ridiculousness. Can you imagine a 68 mph speed limit? I would have to pull over. Try singing, “I can’t drive fifty-seven.” Hopefully it won’t come to that.

There is one bright spot, though. Hopefully this new trend will do away with the dreaded “50 percent chance of rain” forecast. That’s when the weather guys just throw up their hands and say, “Despite $8 million worth of dopplers, radars and computers, we have no idea. That could be a cloud on the screen, or it could be a fly. We don’t know, and we don’t even have a coin to flip.”

Just tell me if it is going to rain. That’s all any of us really want to know anyway. It doesn’t have to be absolute, one way or the other. I can work with “probably” or “probably not.” After all, as a member of the Close Enough Accountants Society, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him: currin01@gmail.com

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