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Invisible Improbable Rain Discovered!

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:15 AM GMT on April 01, 2013

A stunning discovery by a humble Weather Underground personal weather station owner has rocked the meteorological world. Boris Badi-i-sad-o-bist-roz, who maintains a backyard weather station in Watrousville, Michigan, has discovered the existence of improbable rain, which promises to revolutionize the understanding and prediction of the weather. In an interview, Mr. Badi-i-sad-o-bist-roz described his improbable discovery of improbable rain. "I was in my backyard, sticking a measuring stick into my rain gauge to measure how much rain I got last night. Now, I wasn't expecting to see much rain in the rain gauge because the weatherman had given such a low probability of rain. As I was thinking about low probabilities, I pulled out my newly purchased ticket for the $338 million Powerball jackpot, and ripped it up in a fit of disgust over my foolishness for thinking I could beat the highly improbable odds of winning the lottery. Some of the torn pieces of the lottery ticket fell into my rain gauge. But when I bent closer to measure the amount of water in my rain gauge, I noticed that the pieces of lottery ticket were actually floating well above the surface of the water. I realized then that some invisible substance was floating on top of the rain in the rain gauge, suspending the lottery ticket pieces. Now, when I stuck the ruler in the gauge, I measured 3/10 of an inch of rain, and another 7/10 of an inch of this invisible substance that the scraps of lottery ticket paper were floating on top of. Since the weatherman had called for a 30% chance of rain, I concluded that the invisible substance must be improbable rain, and one could use the measurement of actual rain and improbable rain to compute the odds of a rain event. Since potential winning lottery tickets were made out of a substance even more improbable than improbable rain, the paper was able to float on top of the improbable rain."

Mr. Badi-i-sad-o-bist-roz reported his findings to Weather Underground meteorologists, who promptly devised an "improbability float" made out of Powerball lottery tickets that one could put into a rain gauge to measure improbable rain. These new improbability floats were distributed to Weather Underground's entire network of 20,000 personal weather station owners for an experimental study on the nature, sources, and behavior of improbable rain. The results were astonishing. Improbable rain was discovered to always accompany rain, and fall with rain in proportions that allowed one to compute the probability of a rainfall event. Improbable snow was also discovered to exist. However, in some regions, amounts of improbable rain and snow far in excess of what was expected fell, leading to extended periods of really nasty, unseasonably wet weather. Our meteorologists struggled to come up with a scientific explanation for the discrepancies, ruling out the operation of nearby spaceships equipped with improbability drives. Finally, they employed the services of a Native American shaman. The shaman advised them that these highly improbable weather events--most notably the miserably cold, wet, and snowy March 2013 weather in the Eastern United States--were clearly due to curses affecting the region, which drastically affected rain and snow probabilities. "The people have forgotten the old gods," said shaman Norris Ogalallamanna, "and the old gods have become angry, calling down weather curses upon the land. The old gods deemed the Eastern U.S. unworthy of spring this year, and called down a curse to delay it."

The existence of improbable rain and weather curses were quickly seized upon by climate skeptics as evidence that climate models should not be trusted. "The computer climate models used by the National Intergovernmental and Territorial Panel to Investigate Climate Change--NITPICC--utterly failed to anticipate the importance of improbable rain and curses by the old gods on weather and climate," commented spokesman Markoff Chaney of the industry-funded think tank, Let's Attack Science to Protect Profits (LASPP.) The organization maintains of staff of top-notch scientists who swear that their funding from the fossil fuel industry does not affect the objectivity of their science. "This new 'improbability-gate' scandal proves that we can't trust climate models to say diddly-squat that's right about global warming," said Chaney.

The head of NITPICC, and professor of unspeakable truths at Miskatonic University, Dr. R. J. Donteventrytopronouncemylastname, conceded that his organization had some work to do. "We're working very hard to incorporate the effect of improbable rain and curses from the old gods into the NITPICC models," said Dr. Donteventrytopronouncemylastname. "We've gotten approval for dedicated new super-duper computer to model these effects, and we've formed a new Laboratory for Improbable Precipitation Studies (LIPS.) Our first research paper has already been accepted for publication later this millennium in the Journal of Irreproducible Results."

Happy April Fools!

Science Made Stupid: How to Discomprehend the World Around Us, by Tom Weller, published 1985.

Other weather and climate April Fools posts
Elderly Obama And Boehner Daughters Arrive In Time Machine To Demand Climate Action, climateprogress.org.
"Scientists Push to Change the Timing of the Seasons", Huffington Post.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.