'30% Chance Of Rain' Doesn't Mean What You Think It Does

By Dave Basner

February 26, 2021

It's rare to watch a weather forecast and not hear the percent chance of percipitation for one day that week, but it turns out when a meteorologist says something like, "There is a 30% chance of rain," it doesn't mean what you think it does.

A woman on TikTok discovered the actual meaning of the phrase and when she shared her video on the app, minds were blown across the planet.

The clip, which is in response to the question, "What is something you found out late in life that you should have known earlier but just didn't?" starts with the woman saying how she, probably like you, thought the phrase meant how likely it would be that it would rain that day, but that's not the case. She then explains that it means there is a 100% chance it will rain in 30% of your area.

She adds, "So like if it says 100%, your whole entire area that you're asking about, your ZIP code or whatever, it's going to blanket the whole thing."


#stitch with @sooklyn #ColorCustomizer I have toooo many of these. I’ll do another weather one. #embarassing #iwastodayyearsold

♬ original sound - Syd

She ends her video asking if she was the only one who just found that out, and clearly she was not. Stunned viewers filled the comments, writing things like, "I found that out like... right now," and "I don't know what the heck is going on anymore," and "At this point, I attend TikTok University."

When The Weather Channel caught wind of the video, they made one of their own to help explain the phrase.


What is your chance of precip? It’s complicated... @sydjkell #todayyearsold #weather #askameteorologist #fyp

♬ I'M CONFUSED - Brian C Rice

In the end, it seems that even if the message means something else, the result is still that there is a 30% you might get rained on that day.

Photo: Getty Images

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