Monday, December 29, 2008

THIS JUST IN: December in the Twin Cities is SLIGHTLY above average!

Wow! Stop the presses!

December could be 8th snowiest of all time

This is news? Not THE snowiest, but the COULD BE THE 8TH snowiest December "of all time," meaning in the short number of years we've been keeping records (since about 1884, ~125 years). Let's check the stats (image courtesy of Charles Fisk):

As of today the Twin Cities has 16" of snowfall for December. IF we get the possible 3.2" of snowfall in the next few days, then we'd have 19.2" for the month, a datum that falls well within the upper quartile for December. It's not even considered an outlier! So, about 25% of all Decembers could make the cut of newsworthiness for "above average" snowfall and similarly another 25% could be considered "below average" months. So, a full 50% of Decembers could have a news blurb talking breathlessly about how much snow (or lack of snow) we're getting.

THIS JUST IN! MN snowy in winter! MN cold during the winter! Some measured quantity is not EXACTLY average!

I hate these kind of "news" stories.

Edit: I suppose that being the 8th snowiest out of 124 years would make it about the 94th percentile. That is a bit more rare, but perhaps we should wait until the snow is actually on the ground before busting out the confetti.

No comments: