The Climate Lottery: Summer 2021 Contest

The Climate Lottery is a forecast contest free to play by giving your picks in an e-mail or in this post’s comment section. No prizes will be given out for the contest, which is for educational purposes only. The main purpose for the contest is to get climate change conscious people interested in National Center for Environmental Information climate products. The special account that I have set up for the contest is guywalton10@gmail.com. This time I will make a personal pick, following along with any players.

The National Center for Environmental Information ranking numbers for average temperatures of the lower 48 states for Summer 2021 will be posted on or shortly after September 6th, 2021 which will be the official “Climate Lottery” numbers of the contest. Any subsequent changes by NCEI after their initial posted rankings will not be valid for the contest…but those ranking numbers will change with time.

The winning Climate Lottery numbers for Spring 2021 (MAR, APR, May) were 114/85/65 with a Power Ball number of 107 for the season, meaning that Spring 2021 was the 21st warmest winter in recorded history for the United States.

Hello again to all weather and climate geeks out there. Spring 2021 turned out to be well above average, temperature wise, for most of the United States. If you wish to play “The Climate Lottery” pick one number between 1 and 126 (with 1 representing the coldest possible ranking and 126 being the highest possible ranking) for June, July and August 2020. Also, pick a “Power Ball” or overall ranking number for the summer season as a whole between 1 and 126. The Power Ball ranking will serve as a tiebreaker for any close picks between contestants. Your picks are NCEI rankings for average temperatures across the lower 48 states. Because 2021 is the 126th year that the National Center for Environmental Information has been ranking years since 1895, all months for 2021 will have a warmest ranking of 126. Monthly rankings for 2021 will have a range from 1 to 126 with the coldest ranking being the number 1.

Please give your picks to Guywalton10@gmail.com or in the comments section at the end of this post before July 5th, 2021. If you wait until just before July 5th to make your picks you can make an educated guess as to what the ranking for June will be and also a heads-up guess for July. All data can be found at the National Center for Environmental Information site noted here:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/national/rankings/110/tavg/202005

The Power Ball (or overall National Center for Environment Information) number for Spring 2021 for the lower 48 states was 107, which was well above the average ranking of 63, for the lower 48 states. Only 20 other springs were warmer. In the Climate Lottery game, I’ve defined each individual lottery number as rankings for each month for the lower 48 states, power ball numbers as those for each season, and mega ball numbers as those for each year. 

Chances for an entire season of below average temperatures are becoming much less likely across the lower 48 states due to carbon pollution. The whole point of these posts is to demonstrate how skewed temperatures have become towards warmth due to climate change and to get people to look at NCEI data. Of course, as far as the globe goes, the larger an area that is compared to average, the more likely that area is to be above long term averages. What has happened this decade is yet more proof of the climate lottery game being loaded for warmth in the United States. Balls coming out of the Climate Lottery hopper are likely to have high numbers. 

Here’s a breakdown of the National Climatic Center’s ranking numbers by state for Spring 2021, which was ranked as 21st warmest or 107th coldest (or a Powerball ranking of 107):

3-Month Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

There were no below average states. The warmest conditions relative to average occurred in the Upper Midwest and Norrheast..

The following is a breakdown of each month for Spring 2021. Each chart shows “Climate Lottery” numbers for each state (or rankings) from a scale of 1 to 126.

In March the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 114 (out of 126): 

1-Month Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

Spring started out relatively warm across the Midwest and most of the rest of the United States. No one state had cooler than average conditions.

In April the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 85 (out of 126):

1-Month Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

The Northeast and Southwest had a warm April relative to average. The south-central states had a cool April.

In May the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 65 (out of 126):

1-Month Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

There was a cooling trend during Spring 2021 since most individual state rankings got lower with each passing month. The Southeast except for Florida had a cool May. The Northeast and Southwest continued to have the warmest conditions relative to average.

 The following are the rankings, so far, for individual months or “climate lottery number picks” from 2012-2021:

The average ranking for 2021 is 63 since the coldest ranking would be 1 and the hottest 126. I have color coded all well below average temperature rankings for this post at or below 43 blue and all those well above temperature rankings at or above 83 red, with rankings + or – 20 from the mean value of 63 black for near average temperature rankings. With time, the rankings for each individual month, season and year will change as more data becomes available from NCEI. Also, for reference, the annual or “mega ball” numbers are shown on the chart. The mega ball number for 2020 was 122, meaning that 2018 was the fifth warmest year on record for the lower 48 states, for example. 

Seasonal or Power Ball rankings for winter are those for DEC/JAN/FEB, spring are MAR/APR/MAY, summer JUN/JUL/AUG, and fall SEP/OCT/NOV. Also, keep in mind that NCEI rankings for seasons are not merely an average of rankings of individual month of a season or year as was the case for Spring 2021- 114/85/65 P.B.107:

Notice that since the start of 2012 only two out of the last thirty-eight seasons have been well below average or “blue.” Twenty-nine out of thirty-eight seasons since 2012 have been “red” or well above average. Spring 2021 adds to our warm stats and was also colored red. Indeed, the Climate Lottery hopper is very much loaded for above average temperatures for the lower 48 states looking at recent history. Yes, the “casino of climate averages” is cheating causing the “house of warming” to win just about every season due to carbon pollution.

I hope that everyone will have a great, safe summer.

Guy Walton…”The Climate Guy”