University of Arizona researchers create “Monsoon Madness” game

Rainfall betting game based off fantasy sports
MONSOON 2021: Take amazing lightning photos while staying safe
MONSOON 2021: Take amazing lightning photos while staying safe
Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 8:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Last year was Tucson’s driest year on record and many people might be wondering what this year’s monsoon will bring. University of Arizona researchers have turned this question into a betting game based off fantasy sports.

“It’s the time of year when everyone wants to know what the monsoon is going to do but nobody really has a good answer,” said Zack Guido, an assistant research professor at the Arizona Institute for Resilience.

Guido says monsoon is a challenge for even the experts to predict which inspired him and other UA researchers to put together Monsoon Madness and get the community involved.

“The collective conscious of everybody that’s playing here actually provides a better forecast, a community forecast if you will, then what we already have,” he said.

Starting with July, players can estimate the monthly rainfall totals for Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, El Paso and Albuquerque. Participants get points for how accurate and risky their forecasts are. Guido expects this monsoon to be a bit more promising than last year’s non-soon.

“I think we are going to have periods of really frequent rainfall and periods where we wonder where the monsoon went and that’s kind of the character of the monsoon,” he said.

Researchers are also hoping the game will promote climate awareness as we experience hotter temperatures and far fewer rainy days.

“I think we have seen a decrease in rainfall over the last couple of decades. That may be something we continue to see in the future. There’s also been some research that’s been showing rainfall tends to hug around the mountains and might not come into the valley as much,” said Ladd Keith, an assistant professor of planning at the University of Arizona.

Competitors with the two highest scores will win an automated backyard weather station worth $400. Winners will be chosen at the end of September. You can learn more about the game and how to participate, here.

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