Climate Lottery- Summer 2014 Contest

By: Guy Walton , 12:01 AM GMT on June 14, 2014

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Climate Lottery- Summer 2014 Contest

*A special note: I am offering a $100 cash prize for the summer 2014 contest that will be open from the time of this blog posting and close on midnight EDT July 5th. Just give your picks in the wunderground comments section of this blog in order to be eligible. The National Climatic Data Center’s ranking numbers for summer 2014 will be posted on or shortly after September 15th, 2014, which will be the official "Climate Lottery" numbers for the contest. Any subsequent changes by NCDC after their initial posted rankings will not be valid for the contest…and those ranking numbers will change with time.*

The winning Climate Lottery numbers for spring (MAR/APR/MAY) 2014 were 43/75/89 with a Power Ball number of 70 for the season. The winner of the prize for the spring 2014 contest is Rod whose educated guesses were the closest to the actual ranking numbers.

Hello again to all weather and climate geeks out there. Spring 2014 turned out to be not too far away from long term averages in the lower 48 states for those following along. If you wish to play “The Climate Lottery”, pick three numbers between 1 and 120 (with 1 representing the coldest possible ranking and 120 being the highest possible ranking) for June, July, and August 2014. Also pick a “Power Ball” or overall ranking number summer 2014 between 1 and 120…the Power Ball ranking will serve as a tiebreaker for any close picks. Since 2014 will be the 120th year the National Climatic Center has been ranking years since 1895 all months for 2014 will have a record warmest ranking of 120. Please give your picks in the reply section to this blog by July 5th, 2014. As usual, if you wait until just before July 5th to make your picks, you can make an educated guess as to what the ranking for July will be (and also a heads-up guess for July).

All data can be found at the NCDC Climate at a Glance Site noted here:

The Power Ball (or overall National Climatic Data Center Ranking) number for spring 2014 for the lower 48 states was the 51st warmest on record for any spring since 1895. 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. Spring 2014 was near average across the lower 48 states. Chances for an entire season of below average temperatures are becoming much less likely across the lower 48 states.

References to all of my blog posts can be found at: tml

The spring season, as a whole, was slightly above average, temperature wise, for the lower 48 states. The whole point of these posts is to demonstrate how skewed temperatures have become towards warmth due to climate change. Of course, as far as the globe goes, the larger an area that is compared to averages goes, the more likely that area is to be above long term averages. What has happened so far this decade is yet more proof of the climate lottery game being loaded for warmth in the United States.

Here’s a breakdown of the National Climatic Center’s ranking numbers for spring 2014:

For spring 2014 the overall ranking (or Powerball number) for the lower 48 states was 70 (out of 120):

Most of the western U.S. had above average temperatures through the spring months while most of the East and central states had below or near average temperatures. The drought in California and across much of the Southwest continued to stay at epic proportions. A strong upper ridge produced warm to hot and dry conditions in the West. The following is a breakdown of each month for spring 2014. Each chart shows “Climate Lottery” numbers for each state (or rankings) from a scale of 1 to 120.

In March the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 43 (out of 120):

The ball landing out of the Climate Lottery hopper ended up below average in March 2014 across the lower 48 states, which averaged 43rd coldest since 1895. As was the case for much of the winter cold conditions continued for much of the East with Vermont having its coldest March on record, and much of the West having much above average temperatures.

In April the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 75 (out of 120):

Relatively cold conditions continued to occur across portions of the Midwest in April. Record or near record warmth and drought continued in the West. Overall, the number coming out of the National Climatic Data Center’s hopper was near average for the lower 48 states in April 2014.

In May 2014 the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 89 (out of 120):

There was a relative warming trend across the lower 48 states during the spring. May 2014 was the warmest spring month in the continental U.S. California was the warmest state, which continued to suffer from the drought…yes drought breeds drought because dry ground often leads to hot temperatures.

The following are the rankings, so far, for individual months or “climate lottery number picks” for the 2010’s:

(I’m keeping the format on all of my charts the same as on the last four posts. The average ranking for 2014 is 60 since the coldest ranking would be 1 and the hottest would be 120. I have color coded all rankings for this post at or below 39 blue and all those at or above 79 red with rankings + or – 20 from the median value of 60 black. With time, the rankings for each individual month, season and year will change as more data becomes available to the National Climatic Data Center. )

Also, for reference, the following are “Power-Ball” and “Mega-Ball” ranking numbers for 2000 to the present.Please see my third post for more charts dating back to 1900. Seasonal or Power-Ball rankings for winter are those for DEC/JAN/FEB, spring are those for MAR/APR/MAY, summer is JUN/JUL/AUG, and fall is SEP/OCT/NOV. Also, keep in mind that NCDC rankings for seasons compare seasons and are not merely an average of rankings of individual months of a season or year. The spring 2014 ranking was in the black or “near average” range.

Notice that since the start of 2000 only seven out of fifty-eight seasons have been below average or “blue”. Thirty-nine out of the fifty-eight seasons since 2000 have been “red” or above average. Indeed, the climate lottery hopper is very much loaded for above average temperatures for the lower 48 states looking at recent history….but not so much that the U.S. has seen well above average temperatures, as a whole, during the last winter and this spring. Yes though, the “casino of climate averages” is cheating causing the “house of warming” due to climate pollution to win just about every season.

Here’s a hint for anyone wanting to play the Climate Lottery: So far in June, there have been near average temperatures across the eastern and central states with well above average temperatures in the West. I hope that everyone will have a good and safe summer….and I also hope that there will not be as much heat across the country as was the case in the summers of 2011 and 2012.

Guy Walton
Lead Forecaster, the Weather Channel
“That Climate Guy”

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28. Guy Walton , Lead Forecaster
1:21 AM GMT on July 16, 2014
The first number has popped out of the National Climatic Data Center's hopper for summer.

That "Climate Lottery" number is 88 for June 2014, which means that June 2014 was the 33rd warmest June across the
lower 48 states since 1895.

Congratulations Weatherguy for making the exact, correct pick of 88 for June!

Member Since: January 10, 2013 Posts: 13 Comments: 23
27. Guy Walton , Lead Forecaster
2:46 AM GMT on July 07, 2014
Thanks go out to all who have played the Climate Lottery for summer 2014.

The summer contest is now closed.

I'll start posting results for each individual month starting with June 2014 in this comments section in a few days.
Member Since: January 10, 2013 Posts: 13 Comments: 23
26. Stella29
9:04 PM GMT on June 28, 2014
Hi Guy, my picks are June 113, July 82, August 104, Powerball 99
Member Since: June 28, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
25. weatherguy03
9:58 AM GMT on June 27, 2014
June 88, July 92, August 95, Powerball 90
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 590 Comments: 29698
24. CentralOhio
6:58 PM GMT on June 26, 2014
82/85/87 PB 85
Member Since: September 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
23. biff4ugo
11:57 AM GMT on June 25, 2014
81/100/75 PB:83
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 1543
22. qmhedging
11:08 AM GMT on June 25, 2014
90 / 110 / 112 / PB:109
Member Since: July 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
21. cicadaknot
1:35 AM GMT on June 25, 2014

PB: 113
Member Since: July 17, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 74
20. lepiane
3:22 PM GMT on June 24, 2014
Thanks to everyone at WU.
My picks are 91/80/ 80 and 84 for the PB
Member Since: January 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
19. Ylee
3:11 AM GMT on June 24, 2014

Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 92 Comments: 15337
18. CloverdaleE
2:03 AM GMT on June 24, 2014
My guess is 90/100/105 with a PB of 107. Thanks!
Member Since: March 30, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
17. Guy Walton , Lead Forecaster
1:31 AM GMT on June 24, 2014
Thanks again all who have played so far. Dr. Jeff Masters is correct of course....The planet has seen back to back record warm months, but that does not mean that the lower 48 states will see a record hot summer (just probably above average).

We'll see what transpires as the summer 2014 Climate Lottery contest rolls along.


Member Since: January 10, 2013 Posts: 13 Comments: 23
16. Naga5000
1:21 AM GMT on June 24, 2014
90/99/106 PB 100
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3234
15. rondoggage
12:30 AM GMT on June 24, 2014
June: 58

July: 106

August: 112

Summer 2014: 99

Submitted by Ron Georgalis
Member Since: March 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
14. MAweatherboy1
9:16 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
Hi Guy, I'll go with 106/110/111, PB 109. Thanks!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7603
13. aflatminer
7:03 PM GMT on June 23, 2014

Hi Guy,

My picks are June 93, July 105, August 108, Powerball 93
Member Since: June 23, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
12. Astrometeor
6:43 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
110, 112, 106

Powerball: 115
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 95 Comments: 9779
11. SpaceCoastGhost
6:33 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
100 110 120, 110
Member Since: August 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
10. SouthTampa
6:24 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
104, 102, 117, PB 110
Member Since: June 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 129
9. Pipejazz
5:45 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
108, 109, 110, PB 109
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 176
8. oxnardprof
5:34 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
I will go with 90/95/97 with power ball 94
Member Since: November 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 13
7. Grothar
4:12 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
72 - 80 - 84 - 75
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25291
6. rod2635
12:56 AM GMT on June 22, 2014
Hi Guy,

My picks are June 91, July 98, August 96, Powerball 99
Member Since: January 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 302
5. tvengineer
6:03 PM GMT on June 19, 2014
Hello -Guy:

Picks 34,45,67 Power Ball= 55

Member Since: November 3, 2006 Posts: 31 Comments: 13
4. Guy Walton , Lead Forecaster
7:03 AM GMT on June 18, 2014
Thanks all so far for playing the summer 2014 "Climate Lottery". Everyone has until 7/5/14 to make their picks for that $100 prize.

I have one special note: May 2014, globally, was the warmest May on record using NASA data.
See: B.Ts+dSST.txt
Member Since: January 10, 2013 Posts: 13 Comments: 23
3. Danali
11:15 PM GMT on June 17, 2014
Hello. Climate Guy - My guess is 66/93/85 powerball:72
Member Since: June 11, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 6
2. pcola57
10:59 PM GMT on June 16, 2014
Hey Guy..
Going with 96/100/100 Powerball:102
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
1. Daisyworld
9:29 PM GMT on June 14, 2014
Hello Guy. Here are my picks: 101/111/115. Powerball: 118
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 850

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Guy Walton is a Lead Forecaster at The Weather Channel

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