Extreme Temperature Diary- Friday December 10th, 2021/Main Topic: The Climate Lottery- Winter 2021/2022 Contest

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: The Climate Lottery- Winter 2021/2022 Contest

Dears Diary. It’d time for all to play an educational game that can help us to follow climate and weather events along through this season, that can be fun but at the same time, alarming. Just a hint here…December has gotten off to a record warm start across the lower 48 states. Here are the rules:

The Climate Lottery: Winter 2021/2022 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 guywalton9@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 Winter 2021/2022 will be posted on or shortly after March 6th, 2022 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 Fall 2021 (SEP, OCT, NOV) were 123/122/121 with a Power Ball number of 125 for the season, meaning that Fall 2021 was the third warmest summer in recorded history for the United States.

Hello again to all weather and climate geeks out there. Fall 2021 turned out to be exceptionally above average, temperature wise, for most of the United States. If you wish to play “The Climate Lottery” pick one number between 1 and 127 (with 1 representing the coldest possible ranking and 127 being the highest possible ranking) for December 2021, and between 1 and 128 for January 2022 and February 2022. Also, pick a “Power Ball” or overall ranking number for the fall season as a whole between 1 and 127. 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 127th year that the National Center for Environmental Information has been ranking years since 1895, all months for 2021 will have a warmest ranking of 127. Likewise, the year 2022 will have a highest ranking of 128. Monthly rankings for 2021 will have a range from 1 to 127 with the coldest ranking being the number 1.

Please give your picks to Guywalton9@gmail.com or in the comments section at the end of this post before January 5th, 2021. If you wait until just before January 5th to make your picks you can make an educated guess as to what the ranking for December will be and also a heads-up guess for January. All data can be found at the National Center for Environmental Information site noted here:


The Power Ball (or overall National Center for Environment Information) number for Fall 2021 for the lower 48 states was 125, which was the 3rd hottest ranking and well above the average ranking of 63, for the lower 48 states. 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 Fall 2021, which was ranked as third warmest or 125th coldest (or a Powerball ranking of 127):

September - November 2021 Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

There were no below average states. The warmest conditions relative to average occurred from the West through the Midwest into the Northwest. The coolest states relative to average were in the Southeast.

The following is a breakdown of each month for Fall 2021. Each chart shows “Climate Lottery” numbers for each state (or rankings) from a scale of 1 to 127.

In September the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 123 (out of 127): 

September 2021 Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

Fall started out warm across the West and Northeast. The Southeast was the nation’s cool spot. No one state had cooler than average conditions.

In October the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 122 (out of 127):

October 2021 Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

There was a switch in the overall weather pattern during October. For a change, the West had the coolest conditions while the East saw the global warming signature of above average temperature conditions. Ohio and Maryland had their warmest Octobers on record.

In November the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 121 (out of 126):

November 2021 Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

The weather pattern switched back such that the West saw the warmest conditions while the East was relatively cool. Several western states had their second warmest Novembers on record.

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

The average ranking for 2021 is 63.5 since the coldest ranking would be 1 and the hottest 127. 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 2020 was the sixth 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 Fall 2021- 123/122/121 P.B.125:

Notice that since the start of 2012 only two out of the last forty seasons have been well below average or “blue.” Thirty-one out of the last forty seasons since 2012 have been “red” or well above average. Fall 2021 definitely 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 winter.

Guy Walton…”The Climate Guy”

Here are some “ET’s” reported from Friday:

Here is more new November 2021 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Friday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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