Don’t let rain chances ruin your plans

Storm clouds
Storm clouds(Thomas Heck)
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 2:45 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Summertime is notorious for pop-up showers just about anywhere in the southern United States, and the Wiregrass helps set that example.

Hopefully, it’s the 4Warn Weather Team giving your forecast, but any meteorologist will mention rain chances. It’s easy to hear a certain percentage and automatically assume your day will be ruined by showers and thunderstorms, but if you understand rain chances, there’s no need to panic.

There will be a small rain chance almost every day when summer kicks into gear, all this to cover the showers and storms that develop in the afternoon, during the heating of the day. We rely on these pop-up showers to form from the humid conditions in the summer, mainly because fronts and low pressure systems are far and few between. The pattern can really stagnate for several months, minus the tropical systems that could come ashore.

20 to 30 percent chance of rain can be monotonous to hear in the summer, especially if you are the lucky contender that experiences a downpour every day. Meanwhile, there could be an area in the county over that hasn’t gotten rain in a week. Rain chances are determined by the coverage area that rain could impact, combined with level of confidence. For example, if a meteorologist is 100% confident that 30 percent of the area will get rain, that gives us a 30% chance of rain. If a meteorologist is 50 percent confident that 100% of the area will get rainfall, there’s a 50% chance of showers.

The equation is as follows: P = C x A, P is precipitation chance, C is confidence level, and A is area of coverage expected.

So the reality is there that some areas could be skipped for four days if the chance of rain is 20% for five days.

An official CoCoRaHS rain gauge runs about $35.
An official CoCoRaHS rain gauge runs about $35.(CoCoRaHS/Weather Your Way)

If your rain gauge is staying empty this summer, be patient, you’re probably close to a breakthrough.

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