Yesterday I wrote that, with northerly winds predicted for the next few days, “at the risk of jinxing things, we MAY just be able to wrap up this migration by next weekend.” Apparently that statement caused enough phone calls to travel agents that Verizon’s trunk lines were brought to their knees, and enough flight bookings to Tallahassee that Southwest Airlines has made arrangements to borrow ten 747′s from Air France.
Hold your horses (if you have any)! We can’t predict weather 5 days ahead any better than the meteorologists!
Perhaps the statement-in-question should have been punctuated with one of those semi-colon-hyphen-open-parenthesis emoticons or better yet, someone needs to invent a thingie to represent pie-in-the-sky-hopefulness, and maybe even a tongue-in-cheek-smiley-face Instead, it simply ended with an old-fashioned-period.
For the statisticians out there, do the math. If the probability of flying on any given day is 50% then the probability of flying on two consecutive days is 25%, three consecutive days 12.5%, and four consecutive days is even lower, a mere 6.25%. Translated that’s a 1 in 16 chance that we could fly four days in a row. Maybe good odds for a lottery ticket, but not probable! Though we HAVE done 7 days in a row previously.
And a 50-50 chance of flying on an given day is way high (pun intended)… Today is migration day 67 and we’ve flown a mere 12 of those. Using THOSE numbers, the probability of flying “tomorrow” is 18% and flying four days in a row is less than 1 in 100. Southwest Airlines, send those 747′s back pronto!
If you haven’t fallen asleep in math class by now, you get the point. We can’t even predict if we will fly tomorrow, and certainly cannot state with any certainty, or even uncertainty, that we will fly enough legs in one week to finish migration next weekend. We are at the mercy of the wind and we have to just take it one-day-at-a-time.