About Fantasy Blizzard

Fantasy Blizzard is a winter forecasting game that was started and played by a small group of competitive meteorology students at the State University of New York at Oswego. It slowly grew over its first couple early season and has since made it to the national level where people of all levels and skill sets of meteorology compete.

We have National Weather Service employees, television meteorologist personalities, students, and those who know very little about the weather participating in the game. If you can derive the vorticity equation, this game is for you. If you don't know the difference between graupel and hail, this game is also for you!

How It works

Each day during the season, you may select one location from our set of over 200 locations (ASOS stations) across the continental United States where you think winter weather will strike. A score is determined based on how much snow accumulated, how strong the winds were, and how cold the day was. An average is calculated based on all of your submission scores and if you have the highest average at the end of the season and have met the minimum forecast submission requirement, you win!

Official Rulebook

Below are listed the current rules of Fantasy Blizzard.

  • The Fantasy Blizzard season runs from December 1st - March 15th (inclusive)... December 1st being the first day and March 15th being the last day a submission can made for.
  • The game is open to anyone who wants to play. You don't have to have any high level education in meteorology.
  • It's free to play!
  • To qualify to win, you must submit at least 30 entries during the duration of the contest.
  • You don't need to play every day, just need to reach the required 30 over the season to win and your name and score to be showcased in season archives.
  • For each day over the minimum of 30, you will get an extra half-point added to your average.
  • Points are calculated by 24 hour snow, highest gust wind speed, and heating degree days based on National Weather Service Daily Climate (CLI) reports, which are from 12:00am to 11:59pm local time. For those stations that do not have Daily Climate Reports, CF6 reports will be used.
  • Snow points: 1 point per tenth-inch of reported accumulated snow
  • Cold points: 1 point per heating degree day (65-average of max and min temperature)
  • Wind points: 1 point per maximum gust mph
  • Raw Score Formula: (Snow * 10) + HDD + Wind
  • Possible forecast locations are limited to those with CLI reports with the three needed values.
  • Only one station can be selected per day.
  • New For 2017-2018 season: Players may lock-in their selection for a day in advanced to qualify for bonus points to be added onto that day's score. To qualify for these points, a selection must be made at least 2 days in advanced and the player will not be allowed to modify the pick in anyway. Once locked-in, it cannot be changed or cancelled. Below are scoring weights that will be awarded to selections based on the number of days in advance the selection was made.
    • 1 day: 0.00
    • 2 day: 0.10
    • 3 day: 0.15
    • 4 day: 0.20
    • 5+ day: 0.25
    To determine the points awarded for the day, the bonus weight will simply be multiplied by the raw score. For example, say a player locked in their selection 4 days in advance and that location ended up scoring 150 points. Their final score would be 150 + (150 * 0.20) = 180
  • The number of days out is calculated using eastern standard time, even if the station is out west. Once the pick is locked, a lock-in date is recorded (using EST) and the days between when it was locked and the day of the forecast is what determines "days out".
  • Submissions are accepted until 11:59:59 EST for the next day.
  • You may use whatever performance enhancing tools you have available.
  • Each player may only have one account. Any accounts found in violation will be suspended from the current season.
Revised July 2017