Monday, 14 October 2013

Eighty percent

To get a localised weather forecast, I've switched from the BBC weather section to the Met Office website. In either you can enter a location, and they seem know about most places – or you can enter another one in the area. Here's the top part of the page for Wolverhampton for tomorrow:

Quite a lot of detail, so I've zoomed in on a part.

This tells me that for the first hours of the day the "Precipitation Probablity" is 20%. For today, for a large part of the period we wanted to cruise, it said the "Precipitation Probability" was 80%. Worrying! But what exactly does it mean? That it would rain for 80% of the time? That we would get 80% of the rain we normally get, for 100% of the time? Or in total during the day? That it would be raining over 80% of the length of canal? Since this is statistics, it could presumably mean any, all or none of the above. It might have been a completely dry day (in fact, a 20% chance of that, I think – some people have a flutter on the Grand National with far worse odds).

It's the same when you get those cheery chappies on the BBC weather gallery, telling you about the chance of a shower. But they do also normally translate it into everyday terms – should you take your brolly? In our case today it meant that once breakfast was over it was straight into full-weather gear. It was bound to rain. Truth to tell, it already was.

As we came down past the Wolverhampton Boat Club, we passed another Tolkien-inspired name, and this time I was quick enough with camera and reverse gear to get the photo.

My problem is that I don't remember any such exact reference in The Lord of the Rings. They were the Horse Lords of Rohan, or the Riders of Rohan (as I recall). They also carried the name Eorlingas, after Eorl the Young who brought his people to Rohan. But perhaps this is just the boat-namer playing on ideas and words. If anyone can suggest any different, by all means do so. In the meantime, let's be generous, so that now the list reads:

Arwen Evenstar
Bilbo Baggins
Earls of Rohan
Many Meetings


  1. We just passed Rivendell the beginning of the T&M :-)

    1. Nice one. I'll add it to the list. The only Rivendell I've personally seen so far was given as the home location for NB Many Meetings