13 November 2007

Weekend Rain Phenomenon

Q: What are two rainy days in Seattle called?

A: The weekend.

pink umbrella photo by photographer Jef Maion

It's a gorgeous, sunny day here in the Puget Sound. Of course it is. It's Monday. Well, virtual Monday, yesterday being a holiday and all.

At first I thought it was my imagination, this idea that it somehow always rains on weekends, sunshine being doled out only on the days when I'm trapped in my hermetically sealed office.

I told myself to stop being such a Debbie Downer, that there aren't really rain gods up there, high-fiving each other and mocking me, down in my soggy, grey existence, every weekend.

Surely I only thought it rained more on the weekends because that's when I notice the rain. Right?

"Suck it up and drive on, Cowbell," I admonished myself, "Quit being such a whining babypants, it's just your imagination."

Except it wasn't.

There actually is scientific evidence explaining the rainy weekend phenomenon:
The fine particulate matter produced by car exhaust and other human sources of pollution form cloud condensation nuclei, leads to the production of clouds and increases the likelihood of rain.

As commuters and commercial traffic cause pollution to build up over the course of the week, the likelihood of rain increases: it peaks by Saturday, after five days of weekday pollution has been built up.

In heavily populated areas that are near the coast, such as the United States' Eastern Seaboard, the effect can be dramatic: there is a 22% higher chance of rain on Saturdays than on Mondays.

How about that. Our hellish commuter situation is contributing to our hellish rain situation.

Further research turned up a story on KOMO-4 news where our own Steve Pool, of Double Doppler fame, analyzed several years of rainfall records specifically to investigate the weekend rain phenomenon. The findings? Yes, Virginia, it does rain more on Saturday and Sunday than any other day, with Sunday edging out Saturday. Friday -- of course -- is the driest day of the week, which I can see nicely through my 20" wide office window.

Imagination my soggy, chapped ass.


  1. That is unreal (but not surprising).

    I wish you could send some of that rain our way. We are in desperate need in the SE.

  2. Science is cool. Even if it does make it rain on the weekends.

  3. Depends help to wick away moisture from soggy chapped asses. They do, however, leave very recognizable panty lines!

    Love the photos by the way.

  4. And because it's on Wikipedia you know those statistics are spot on.
    Anyhoo, Debbie Downer is awesome.
    And this is funny too:
    “If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Because of something you did."”-Jack Handy

  5. I have an idea....lets move the weekend to Wednesday and Thursday!!!!

  6. That is fascinating. Must have been some serious commuting going on last week to justify yesterday's dumping, though.

  7. I'd heard this theory of weekend rain before,and now that wikipedia has confimed it,I'm adding to my mental stash of "True facts"..

  8. We've made our own bed (of toxic particulate gas), and now we have to live under it...or something like that.


    I was always told that rain was the angels crying. And apparantly the angels cried if you touched yourself in naughty places - it rained alot in our part of the country!

  10. At least you don't have to shovel rain. Count your blessings.

  11. Holy Poncho, Batman. I had no idea that the seemingly soggy weekends were real and not just me being a drippy downer. Good to know, in a man-that-is-so-depressing kind of way.

  12. Whim: Yeah, and oddly enough, we suffer from drought conditions in summers.

    Red: Yes, it is cool. I heard, just this morning, about a group of folks gathered in GA for an unscientific approach to the opposite problem: they had a prayer session for rain, armed with umbrellas and everything. Not sure if it worked...

    Tater: Can't abide the panty lines. Ever.

    JP: I know. He's such an instigator.

    Rain Hat: I know, right? I'd seen this before in other sources, but was too lazy to look for them. Long live slackassery! (I've been saying that entirely too much) Yeah, Debbie Downer makes me laugh. And regarding the Jack Handy, by the time February rolls around, I"ll be feeling more like the Heavens are pissing over the Sound, rather than crying over it. Is that too bitter?

    Rosemary: Except the dagblasted commuters would follow.

    L: Oh you know this city - there's ALWAYS some serious commuting going on.

    Sling: That's right. I'll pretty much believe whatever gets me through the night. Or the rainy season.

    E: yeah. all joking aside, that is sadly too true.

    Willym: Oh! Well damn - that explains it then. I will henceforth be keeping my hands on top of the covers, as the nuns instructed my mother during her formative years.

    RG: Oh honey - I've spent my life in heavy snow areas, except for 2 years in Atlanta, and now here. I never thought I'd miss it, to tell you the truth, but for me, cold and crisp beats chilly and soggy. Unless you don't have a garage. Whole different story in that case.

    KA: Yeah. I always feel better having a concrete reason for my depression and general pissiness.

  13. You'll notice I say "if you touched yourself" - that could explain why I started letting others do it for me.

  14. Willym -- you think I didn't catch that?

  15. Ah! I see another Northwesterner succumbing to the winter drain on life. No worry, this will all pass about next July. HAH. It is sometimes truly challenging to stay positive when it STAYS foggy, damp, wet. Oh well, your WIT will carry you and your fans through.

  16. Mark: Welcome - and hey, thanks for that encouragement! I only have to make it to July ... [bangs head repeatedly]


I've got a fever ...