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The forecaster's name is Schulz. He reads pig spleens

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When did weather forecasting turn into a bloated high-tech TV production delivered by folks with goofy dimples, too much product in their hair and an itchy clicker finger? We don't know. In the meantime, we're liking the work of Norbert Shulz.

Shulz, you see, is old school. Tells it like it is. And winter this year on the northern prairie? "It's going to turn real nasty," he tells the Jamestown, N.D., Sun.

How does he know? Pig spleens. The North Dakota farmer hacks up a few swine every fall, carves out the organ with a weather eye, lays it down on a table, measures the width and, faster than you can say "we'll be right back after the break for the weekend outlook," he's got the winter dialed.

This winter, "It's just not going to quit," he says. Wide spleen, you see. The wider, the worser. It'll be cold and snowy before Christmas, and it'll stay that way through March.

Wait, isn't it always cold and snowy through March here on the tundra? Yes, although the National Weather Service computer models suggest a somewhat milder outlook.