Know it all!?

 

“Knowledge is power”, so they say. These days, the power is at your fingertips

There are people in Cork City who think that it rains more in the evening than it does in the morning. It’s a fact of life here that we get soaked at least twice in any winter. “Bring an umbrella!”, you say! “No!” Because it’s a fact here that, if it’s raining heavily enough that you really need one, the wind is blowing strongly enough that it will be the umbrella’s last day on earth (as a functioning umbrella, at least). I have heard the ‘rains more in the evening’ line recently enough and sat, without contradicting, smugly in the knowledge that I know the truth.

It’s because we have the internet. Google may not be the font of all knowledge (yet) but it leads in the right direction. The internet gives us the ability to connect with almost any human knowledge so there’s very little cause any more for resting on, “I wish I knew that” or “I wish I could find out”. You can, so go do! Amongst the things that I know are that, even though days are brighter after the winter solstice, it still continues to get light later in the morning until about the 29th December. The days are longer because it is getting brighter for longer (if brighter we call it) at twice the rate at the other end of the day. The pace of getting brighter starts at a mere few seconds per day through to a full four minutes by the time we reach the spring equinox. (Find information for your own location at timeanddate.com.) The pièce de résistance for me, though, is knowing that, in Cork, we get wetter more often in the evening because we have made our choices for the day early in the day: working from home; leaving late; taking the car. How I know? …

Contact Form submitted on 10/08/2011 09:54:42

User Details

Name: Allin Gray
Company / Organisation: n/a
Telephone Number: 087 960 1037
Email Address: allingray@gmail.com

Met Éireann Details

Sent To: General Forecasting Division
Query: Hi, I have a question which is just a matter of personal interest but might also prove useful to the government in promoting better national health and energy conservation. I live in Cork City and walk my children to school during term time (about 35 min walk). It appears to me that it rains less between 8 and 9am than it does between 5 and 6pm – I frequently get soaked walking home from work. Is there any basis for this or am I just making it up? Thanks for your time in reading this. I hope you have an answer.

_________

From: Forecasts
Sent: 11 August 2011 11:49
To: Enquiries
Subject: FW: Met Éireann Contact Form

Can you answer this question?

P…..

_________

From: B….. D….. <B……D…..@met.ie>
Date: 11 August 2011 at 18:37
Subject: RE: Met Éireann Contact Form
To: allingray@gmail.com

Dear Allin

Thank you for your query.

The difference is minimal.

The table below shows the average hourly rainfall (mm) and duration (hours) throughout the day from Cork Airport, going back to 1961. You can judge for yourself.

Regards

B….. D…..

Meteorological Officer

b……d…..@met.ie

Met Éireann www.met.ie

Ph: +353-1-8064244; Fax: +353-1-8064216

hour rain Average duration  (hrs)
0 0.13 0.08
1 0.14 0.08
2 0.14 0.08
3 0.14 0.08
4 0.14 0.08
5 0.14 0.08
6 0.14 0.08
7 0.14 0.08
8 0.14 0.08
9 0.14 0.08
10 0.14 0.07
11 0.13 0.07
12 0.14 0.07
13 0.14 0.06
14 0.15 0.07
15 0.14 0.07
16 0.14 0.07
17 0.14 0.07
18 0.14 0.08
19 0.14 0.08
20 0.14 0.08
21 0.13 0.08
22 0.13 0.08
23 0.13 0.08

_________

It takes, on average 4 minutes, 48 seconds in the morning for 14mm and 4 minutes, 12 seconds in the evening for the same amount of water: possibly a 12.5% difference. Significant? Noticeable? It appears, though, that my request went two directions. The Irish Meteorological Service shows itself again as efficient, informative and just plain helpful.

From: N….. B….. <N……B…..@met.ie>
Date: 10 August 2011 at 12:06
Subject: Cork Airport Rainfall
To: allingray@gmail.com

Allin,

Since 1st January 2000, 565.9mm of rain has fallen between 0800Z and 0900Z on 751 different occasions, between 1700Z and 1800Z , 568.8mm has fallen on 702 occasions.

Regards,

N…..

N….. B…..
Climate Enquiries
Met Éireann
Tel: +353-1-8064260 Fax: +353-1-8064216E-mail: enq@met.ie
Web: www.met.ie

Absolutely speaking, over 11 years, it has rained on 19.38% of mornings between 8am and 9am at a rate of 0.75mm/hour and 18.12% of evenings between 5pm and 6pm at a rate of 0.81mm/hour and, so, it is 7.5% wetter when it does rain in the evening. But it does rain less often at that time. Enough to justify our feeling that the evening is out to get us? I’ll go with the theory that we make our decisions for the day early on and leave it at that.

Thank you Met Eireann! Thank you Google! Thank you internet! I haven’t had an, “I wonder?” moment in years that I haven’t been able to satisfy. So! Next time you wish you knew something, just ask!

N.B. Verifiable answers to the ultimate questions on the meaning of Life, The Universe and Everything have not, as yet, been published on the web. 42 is a good option but it’s not really all that helpful when we don’t know which question it answers.