November 9, 1998 transcript # 259-1
Subject(s): rain, pollution
Title: Rainy Weekends

Hi, I’m Dave Thurlow from the Mount Washington Observatory and this is The Weather Notebook. Does it seem to rain more on the weekend? If it does, don’t you think it might be just your imagination? Well, guess what? In one part of the country, it’s not.

Dr. Randall Cerveny: "We find that along the Atlantic Seaboard, rain tends to follow a very distinct seven-day cycle where it’s rainier on Saturdays and somewhat drier on Mondays."

That’s Dr. Randall Cerveny, a climatologist at Arizona State University. He recently authored a study that statistically showed rain to fall more often on the weekend than on other days of the week. Now nature doesn’t work on a 7-day cycle, that’s something we humans created, so the thought is that something else we’ve created—pollution—may be causing this weekend dreariness:

Dr. Cerveny: "Ours was a statistical study and so we don’t have firm cause-and-effect relationships. But we’re suggesting that the pollution traps heat and one of the fundamental ideas in meteorology, of course, is that hot air rises and if it rises, it’s more likely to cause clouds and precipitation."

Think of it this way. During the workweek, pollutants are being released into the air. Well, that pollution builds and builds during the week and when the weekend hits, there is just a little extra kick, and…you have another weekend of rain.

Dr. Cerveny’s study not only covered rain, but also hurricanes and we’ll talk about that tomorrow, right here on The Weather Notebook. And for additional information, check out our website at weathernotebook.org. The Weather Notebook is produced by Bryan Sejvar. Our series’ senior editor is Jay Allison, and our engineer is Sean Doucette. Our show is underwritten by Subaru, with major support from the National Science Foundation.

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