2022 Stormtrack forecast contest - $100 prize

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Jeff Duda

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We are proud to announce a forecasting contest on Stormtrack for the year 2022.

The theme of this year's contest is similar to those from past years, but with a twist.

We will award a $100 prize to the contestant that comes closest to predicting the number of tornadoes during the most-active 7-day stretch of CY 2022. But we are adding a caveat to this contest to require some skill will to actually win the $100 prize: your forecast must not only be the closest among all contestants, but must also be within 30% of the true value (computed as |forecast - true_value|/[true_value]). For example, if the most active 7-day stretch contains 250 tornadoes, then you must be within 75 tornadoes (inclusive) to officially win the $100 prize.

Scoring methodology: The ultimate source of truth will be the NCDC/NCEI Storm Events Database, which typically is a few months behind the first guesses for tornado counts (due to the time needed for damage surveys, QC, and data entry). However, since the most-active 7-day stretch is likely to occur between April and June, there is a high probability that the true value will be evident by the end of calendar year 2022. Therefore, while unlikely, it is possible that the winner may not be announced until a few months into 2023. I will do my absolute best to unify county segments in the SED so that the true tornado count is used rather than county segments (the narratives for tornado events in the SED is pretty clear about indicating if a track extends into another county or was an extension of a tornado from a previous county, so this is not likely to be a problem), and I will try to keep a daily update of running-7-day tornado sums so contestants can see where they stand.

Rules for entry
  • Respond to this thread with your forecast of the number of tornadoes that will occur during the most-active 7-day stretch of the contest period (defined in the next point)
  • Official contest period: (start) 1200 UTC 01 March 2022, (end) 1159 UTC 01 January 2023 (i.e., the SPC "convective day" definition)
  • Contest entry period closes at 0000 UTC 26 February 2022
  • You may submit as many guesses as you want, but your final guess will be taken as your official entry.
  • This is not "Price-Is-Right" (TM) style scoring; the closest value on either side of the true value will be considered for the prize.
  • The closest entry must be within 30% of the true value to receive the $100 prize. The calculation will round to the nearest integer ([X].5 will be rounded up to [X+1].0)
  • LATE ADD: There will be no splitting of the $100 prize. Said otherwise - there will be no ties. If for some reason there are tied forecasts by the close of the entry period, the first submitted entry of that value will have sole ownership of that forecast value. If you see someone else has already claimed the value you'd prefer, you'll have to wait to see if they change their guess. If they do, you are permitted to "take their guess". But double check the time stamp when you hit "REPLY" to make sure you were the first to re-claim that value. Sometimes two or more people will post at the same time and your browser may not reflect the true order of posting immediately after you hit "REPLY." Refresh the page to double check.
Good luck!

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Hint: you should base your forecast to some degree on climatology. You can get a sense of climatology by looking through the archives of the ERTAF site.
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Jeff Duda

EF6+, PhD
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www.meteor.iastate.edu
Contest entry period is now closed

Looks like we had 20 entries, with most of them in the 100-200 range (slight clustering in the 120-150 range). Everyone has some space around their guess to work with, so now it's up to Ma Nature to sort out the winner.

Contest period starts Tuesday! I'll do my best to update the progress of this contest as the period unfolds.

Thanks for participating.
 

Jeff Duda

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We are one month into the contest. While the official tally will not be available for months to come, I have begun a preliminary look at the tornado counts to give contestants a sense of where things stand.

The two sources plotted so far are the SPC LSRs and the preliminary counts based on me combing through NWS Twitter pages and PNSs to get a sense of what has actually been confirmed so far. I have done my best to merge tornado track summaries that cross CWA lines, but there may be some few-integer errors from what will be confirmed in Storm Data. You should regard the blue data as "close to official".

The 7-day running value is centered on the valid date. That is why you see the 7-day running total increase a few (i.e., 3) days before a spike in daily values.
2022_ST_tornado_contest.png
 

Jeff Duda

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I have updated the best information I can find so far through mid May. A lot of NWS offices don't issue PNSs for small tornadoes, so there are likely a handful of small-integer discrepancies in May so far, but those will not contribute to the winning value, so I'm not too worried about them.

The big spike from early April appears to have a strong hold on the potential for verifying, barring a big outbreak in June or sometime else. We shall see.

2022_ST_tornado_contest.png
 
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