Extreme Temperature Diary- Thursday March 10th, 2022/ Main Topic: The Spring Climate Lottery 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 Spring Climate Lottery Contest

Dear Diary. Winter has come and gone without many noteworthy, historic cold waves. It’s been a mild winter overall, with some of the coldest condition occurring in January and February from fairly typical Arctic outbreaks. We witnessed a historic record warm December, then a cooling trend thereafter. Ominously, after a wet December, California had another two months of record dry weather after the start of the new year.

Our minds need a bit of a rest away from awful Ukraine War coverage, so why not play my Climate Lottery? Don’t worry. At the end of today’s post, I’ll have today’s latest need from Twitter on the war if you would like to see those.

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 Spring 2022 will be posted on or shortly after June6th, 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 Winter 2021/22 (DEC, JAN, FEB) were 127/71/66 with a Power Ball number of 110 for the season, meaning that Winter 2021/22 was the 18th warmest winter in recorded history for the United States.

Hello again to all weather and climate geeks out there. Winter 2021/22 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 128 (with 1 representing the coldest possible ranking and 128 being the highest possible ranking) for March, April and May 2022. Also, pick a “Power Ball” or overall ranking number for the spring season as a whole between 1 and 128. 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 2022 is the 128th year that the National Center for Environmental Information has been ranking years since 1895, all months for 2022 will have a warmest ranking of 128. Likewise, the year 2022 will have a highest ranking of 128. Monthly rankings for 2022 will have a range from 1 to 128 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 April 5th, 2021. If you wait until just before April 5th to make your picks, you can make an educated guess as to what the ranking for March will be and also a heads-up guess for April. 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 Winter 202122 for the lower 48 states was 110, which was the 18th warmest ranking and well above the average ranking of 64, 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 Winter 2021/22, which was ranked as 18th warmest or 110th coldest (or a Powerball ranking of 110):

There were no below average states. The warmest conditions relative to average occurred in the Southeast and in California. The coolest states relative to average were across the northern tier of states.

The following is a breakdown of each month for Winter 2021/22. Each chart shows “Climate Lottery” numbers for each state (or rankings) from a scale of 1 to 127 for December and 1 to 128 for January and February.

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

Winter started out with a bang, with eye popping warmth across most of the nation. There were over 7,000 reports of daily record high maxes alone, which is a very high number relative to average for any one month. The Pacific Northwest was the nation’s cool spot.

In January the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 67 (out of 128):

There was a big switch in the overall weather pattern during January. Arctic air masses moved into the lower 48 states, producing below average conditions from the Great Lakes into the Northeast. California had a warm and unfortunately dry January.

In February the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 66 (out of 128):

The Southeast and California had a warm February compared with long term averages. Portions of the Rockies and central states were cold with below average conditions.

The following are the rankings, so far, for individual months or “climate lottery number picks” from 2013-2022:

The average ranking for 2022 is 64 since the coldest ranking would be 1 and the hottest 128. 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 seventh 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 Winter 2021/22- 127/67/66 P.B.110:

Notice that since the start of 2013 only two out of the last thirty-seven seasons have been well below average or “blue.” Twenty-eight out of the last thirty-seven seasons since 2013 have been “red” or well above average. Winter 2020/2021 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 spring.

Guy Walton…”The Climate Guy”

Here are some “ET’s” and extreme precipitation events recorded over the last couple of days:

Here is some more February 2022 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Thursday:

(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 war on Ukraine:

(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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