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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
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Revision as of 01:59, 30 October 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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Meteorologist
Hi, I'm your new meteorologist and a former software developer. Hey, when we say 12pm, does that mean the hour from 12pm to 1pm, or the hour centered on 12pm? Or is it a snapshot at 12:00 exactly? Because our 24-hour forecast has midnight at both ends, and I'm worried we have an off-by-one error.
Title text: Hi, I'm your new meteorologist and a former software developer. Hey, when we say 12pm, does that mean the hour from 12pm to 1pm, or the hour centered on 12pm? Or is it a snapshot at 12:00 exactly? Because our 24-hour forecast has midnight at both ends, and I'm worried we have an off-by-one error.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an OVERLY ANALYTICAL METEOROLOGIST - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Although we’re constantly exposed to them, many (most?) people don’t understand the details of how to properly interpret weather forecasts. This comic takes this to the ridiculous extreme of the weather reporters themselves not understanding, and asking questions about it while on-air. It shows questions asked by three different people with different backgrounds: mathematics, linguistics, and software development.

[Incomplete] The meteorologist with a background in math had a background in probability. This is shown when he asks if each hour is independent or correlated. If each hour were independent, there would have been a 0.67232 chance to rain at least once. However, if the hours had been correlated, the chance would be less, since if it didn't rain in the first hour, it would decrease the chance of rain in the next hours. However, it would make it more likely of raining in all 5 hours, as it would be a .032% chance if it wasn't correlated.

Transcript

[Cueball is presenting a weather forecast.]
Cueball: Our forecast says there's a 20% chance of rain for each of the next five hours.
Cueball: How likely is it to rain this afternoon? It's a simple question, but I don't know the answer. Is each hour independent? Correlated? Or is rain guaranteed and we're just unsure of the timing?
Cueball: It says "scattered showers." Is this the chance of rain somewhere in your area? How big is your area? What if you have two locations you're worried about?
Cueball: I've asked management, but they've stopped answering my emails, so—hang on, the security guy is coming over.
[A black screen is shown with white text:]
Technical Difficulties
We apologize for hiring a meteorologist with a pure math background.
We'll be back on the air shortly.
News 4
[Cueball is replaced with Blondie.]
Blondie: Sorry about that. Hi, I'm your new meteorologist.
Off-panel voice: And you're not a mathematician, right?
Blondie: No. I do have a linguistics degree.
Off-panel voice: That's fine.
Blondie: It might rain this afternoon.
Blondie: But what is "it" here? Is it a true dummy pronoun, as in the phrase "It's too bad?" Or is the weather an entity?
Blondie: Also, what if I say, "It's hot out, and getting bigger?"
Off-panel voice: Security!


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