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How Unpredictable Is Minnesota's Weather?

You know that snowpocalypse that was supposed to dump more than two feet of snow on New York earlier this week? Well, turns out Winter Storm Juno had other plans, instead wreaking havoc on the rest of the Northeast and leaving New York with only about a foot of snow in some parts. It's a sizable amount of that fluffy white stuff, but definitely not the 30 inches meteorologists originally predicted.

And while the East Coast was hunkering down with a bunch of hot chocolate and blankets on Monday, Minnesotans were celebrating warm 40-plus temperatures. What gives?

See also: Weather Channel Chief Says There's No Such Thing as Too Cold, Maybe

Recently at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver and Reuben Fischer-Baum used some statistics wizardry and determined which cities in the country have the most predictable (and unpredictable) weather around.

Silver and Fischer-Baum measured 120 cities' overall weather predictability based off of three big factors: temperature, precipitation, and severe weather. Within those umbrella (ahem) categories, they measured high, low, and daily mean temperatures; rainfall, snowfall, and the presence or absence of precipitation; as well as wind speed, humidity, cloud cover, and the presence of severe weather events.

Most of the cities that ranked high on the unpredictability scale ended up in places that didn't fall into the 50 most populous cities in the country -- so the findings were divided up into two lists. One list with the nitty-gritty findings for each of the 120 cities regardless of population, and the other with the top 10 biggest cities with unpredictable weather.

Here's the latter list of big cities with fickle weather:

1. Kansas City, Missouri 2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 3. Minneapolis, Minnesota 4. Cincinnati, Ohio 5. Indianapolis, Indiana 6. St. Louis, Missouri 7. Birmingham, Alabama 8. Boston, Massachusetts 9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 10. Dallas, Texas

So where does Minneapolis rank on that other nitty-gritty weather scale? We've got above-average unpredictability here in the Twin Cities. (No duh.) Duluth also ranked on the full-sized list with very high unpredictability.

Unsurprisingly, the most difficult weather factor to predict in Minnesota was temperature, followed up by precipitation. And oddly enough, our severe weather falls into the realm of mostly average predictability, meaning we usually know when a tornado may be headed our way.

If the Twin Cities is home to only above-average unpredictability, what spot has the most temperamental weather? It's Rapid City.

And the weather you could set your sundial watch to? Honolulu, followed up by SoCal and Arizonan cities. Figures... who's ready for a vacation in the sun and sand?

Check out charts and even more of the intricacies behind Silver and Fischer-Baum's findings over at Five Thirty Eight.

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