“How to” umbrella guide

When you hear it said:

“Chance of rain today is 50 percent ” …

That’s usually a cue that you may want
to keep an umbrella handy.


Here in south Florida,
that’s also a sign that the wet season has begun …

Or in other words, around 130 continuous days of rain.

Not that it rains in the same spot every day,
But usually – somewhere – it’s raining.


By 50 percent, what I mean is the 50th percentile:

As in the long-term (say 10-year) median amount of rain – in inches – that falls on any day, as shown in the graph above.

The median is the midway value:

Half the time it rains more, half it rains less.


During the Dry Season, it rains here and there by chance – if also sometimes heavily so – but the standard “winter rule of thumb” is weeks on end without a drop. Over the course of 10 years that means the median (50th percentile) of rain recorded in inches on any single day is a big goose egg: “0.”

Compare that to the summer Wet Season when the steady eddies of “convective” and “convergent” air streams give us a regular pattern of daily thunderstorms:

Fifty percent of the time – for 130 continuous days straight – that will give you rain … somewhere, umbrellas ready or not.


Whoever thought using an umbrella
could be so complicated?

Here’s a look at the May rainfall totals in your area.

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