Some Day a Real Rain Will Come

Last year was one of the wettest ever on record in Ireland. For much of the year Dublin resembled the fabled lost underwater city of Atlanta (currently under attack by the Russians as I understand it—but I digress). In fact the day of my work summer party last year was the rainiest on record since the 1950s, when the hall of records was mysteriously washed away.

At the time I reassured my terrified workmates (most of whom are pansy southerners from places like South America and Canada) that it was an extreme of weather. I told them that we could be reasonably confident of a better summer this year. The principal of regression to the mean says that an outlying occurrence is more likely to be followed by a more usual occurrence than by another outlier. All I can say is that the principal of regression to the mean doesn’t seem to be doing its job.

Because nothing punches up the entertainment value of a blog post more than statistics, here’s the monthly rainfall data for last year and this year. The weather data here was gathered at Dublin Airport, which is pretty representative for me because that’s where I spend most of my time. Here’s something worth noticing though: we’ve had more rain so far this year (639.8mm) than we’d had by the end of August last year (588.5mm). This month’s stats are frightening. We’ve had 2.5 times the average August rainfall already, and we’re barely half way through.

I blame the immigrants.