Monday, 13 August 2012

Does It Rain More Often on Weekends?

Following on from last weeks post and continuing on the interesting research theme. This time it is playing upon one of the favourite pastimes of the British public. A question that has been on everyone's lips for a long time has now been answered.

Does It Rain More Often on Weekends?

The research was carried out by Dr. David M. Schultz at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.

Ever since God declared, "remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (this was first reported by Moses in 1200 BC). More especially since the five-day work week was invented in the early 20th Century. Our society has desired to make the most of its free time-especially Saturdays and Sundays. People have generally favored clear, sunny weekend days to those with cloudy, rainy weather. 

The investigation focuses on two key questions:

  • Does precipitation occur more often on weekends than weekdays
  • If so, what locations are most susceptible to wet weekends?

Technical Discussion: The research used a 24-hour precipitation observations from nearly 200 stations spread across the United States. The data was derived from the Daily Weather Observations dataset, archived by the National Climatic Data Center and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The day of the week was noted for each precipitation event for each station during the 40-year period1 1951-1990, summing the number of events for each of the seven days of the week at each station. 

The total number of precipitation events at each station was also determined, so that the percentage of precipitation occurrence on each day of the week could be calculated. 

The pattern exhibits coherent regions of positive and negative values indicates that there is perhaps some validity to the hypothesis that certain locations favour weekday over weekend precipitation, and vice versa.


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