Was It More Likely to Rain on Sundays?

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 16, 1913: So disappointing, I wanted to wear my new hat to church this afternoon, but it was raining, and so I wore my old faithful brown hat that the water can’t hurt. I have a cold now for a change. I cough, sneeze, and pinch my nose.

Precipitation.Williamsport.1Data source: Climate Zone

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:


It’s too bad that you couldn’t wear your new black velvet hat that was trimmed with a rose ribbon and pink velvet flowers.


It seems like there have been a lot of diary entries where Grandma wrote that it rained on a Sunday. Was it more likely to rain on Sundays than on other days of the week?

Grandma’s wrote that it rained on Sunday, September 21, 1913 and Sunday, October 19, 1913. So it rained about one Sunday a month during Fall, 1913. In other words, it rained one Sunday out of every four or five.

I then found some current climate data for the nearby town on Williamsport PA on the Climate Zone website—and was surprised to discover that in a typical year that there is 0.01 inch or more of precipitation on 10 days in September, 10 days in October, and 12 days in November.

(It really doesn’t seem like it rains on 1 out of every 3 days when I’m in Pennsylvania, but maybe I’d barely notice the rain on days when there was just a little bit and it fell in the middle of the night.)

Conclusion—Assuming the number of days with precipitation has been about the same across the last hundred years and that Grandma mentioned every Sunday when it rained, it looks like it was less likely to rain on  Sundays than on other days of the week during  Fall, 1913.

23 Responses

  1. Poor Grandma not being able to wear her beautiful velvet hat. I would have been so disappointed, too, because I love velvet hats – especially those you featured in a recent post. And what a thought-provoking post this is – because I’m sure we get more rain on the weekends than during the week here. But perhaps if I crunched the numbers, as you have, that wouldn’t necessarily be so!

  2. I can imagine the disappointment of not being able to wear the new hat because of the weather. I wonder what other occasions she had to wear a lovely hat?

  3. Precip of 0.01″ is really a small amount. I wonder if a heavy dew registers on the gauge.

  4. Its almost as if they live in Oregon! ;-)

  5. We have blowing snow today. I’m not sure if I prefer snow or rain on any given day.

  6. Perhaps Grandma was just more likely to talk about the rain if it was raining on Sunday than other days of the week…??

  7. Those hats you posted are so beautiful! I wonder if hers looked just like that… If so, I can understand her disappointment. :)

  8. What a disappointment, I hope she gets to wear the new hat soon.

  9. Too bad she couldn’t wear her new hat. It does seem like it rains a lot there.

  10. Maybe the rain is more troublesome on Sunday when one would wear their “best.”

  11. we are getting a lot of rain these days (being year end and monsoon season).

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