The Climate Lottery: Fall 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 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 December 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 Summer 2022 (JUN, JUL, AUG) were 119/126/121 with a Power Ball number of 126 for the season, meaning that Summer 2022 was the 3rd warmest summer in recorded history for the United States.

Hello again to all weather and climate geeks out there. Summer 2022 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 September, October and November 2022. Also, pick a “Power Ball” or overall ranking number for the fall 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 or in the comments section at the end of this post before October 5th, 2022. If you wait until just before October 5th to make your picks, you can make an educated guess as to what the ranking for September will be and also a heads-up guess for October. 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 Summer 2022 for the lower 48 states was 126, which was the 3rd 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 Summer 2022, which was ranked as 3rd warmest or 126th coldest (or a Powerball ranking of 126):

There were no average states. The warmest conditions relative to average occurred in the Northeast and Far West. Near average conditions occurred across the Upper Midwest.

The following is a breakdown of each month for Summer 2022. Each chart shows “Climate Lottery” numbers for each state (or rankings) from a scale of 1 to 128.

In June the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 119 (out of 128): 

Summer started out warm with no states having below average temperatures. The southern states were anomalously hot.

In July the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 126 (out of 128):

The western drought was at its height during July before monsoon rain kicked in across the Southwest. The drought was reflected by extra warm temperatures during the month in the West. Also, Texas had its hottest July on record, which strained the power grid there. Relative to average, July was the hottest month of Summer 2022.

In August the overall ranking for the lower 48 states was 121 (out of 128):

A number of stares across the Pacific Northwest and Northeast had their hottest August on record. The Southeast had near average temperatures. No one state had below average temperatures during the entire summer.

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 54 blue and all those above temperature rankings at or above 74 red, with rankings + or – 10 from the mean value of 64 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. For example, 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 Summer 2022- 119/126/121 P.B.126:

Notice that since the start of 2013 only two out of the last thirty-nine seasons have been below average or “blue.” Thirty out of the last thirty-nine seasons since 2013 have been “red” or above average. Summer 2022 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 fall.

Guy Walton…”The Climate Guy”