TUCSON (KVOA) - With Pima County residents hoping for this year's monsoon to bring much-needed rain, a group of local forecasters got together to create the Southwest Monsoon Fantasy Forecasts.
Zack Guido, Ben McMahon and Rey Granillo of Arizona Institutes for Resilience; and University of Arizona climatologist Michael Crimmins created a game to allows professional and amateur forecasters of all levels of experience to test their knowledge and make their predictions about the monsoon.
"Mike (Crimmins), myself and colleagues at CLIMAS have been talking and writing about the monsoon for over a decade," Guido said. "And every single year, it's the climate phenomenon that captivates people in the Southwest. It's incredible on many levels: It's visually stunning, it's hazardous, it's a break from the heat, it's water for our ecosystem and it connects people."
Below is information from the organizers on how to play and participate in this year's Southwest Monsoon Fantasy Forecasts.
How to Play
The game draws inspiration from fantasy sports.
A week before the first day of July, August and September, players will estimate the total monthly precipitation as a percentage of the historical average at each of the five major cities in the U.S. Southwest monsoon region: the Arizona cities of Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff plus Albuquerque, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. In total, players will make 15 estimates and earn points based on the riskiness and accuracy of their estimates. The goal is to accumulate the most points over the three-month period.
So, for example, you might guess that Tucson will receive 50% of the historical average for July. That month's average is 2.21, which means that about 1.1 inches would need to fall for you to win full points for the guess.
But if you get a "bull's-eye," he said, you get all the points
Players can sign in on the Southwest Monsoon Fantasy Forecasts website to make their forecasts and learn more details. When you click "sign in," you will be prompted to sign in via Google.