Twin Cities: 3rd ‘least predictable’ weather city

Maybe it's time to ask the boss for a raise?

A study out today shows the Twin Cities has the third "least predictable" weather of any major city in the United States.

The study is from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, who is most famous for his amazingly accurate number crunching for election day forecasts.

As any meteorologist who works in the Midwest knows, the north central U.S. has some of the most volatile weather on earth. That's why we often call Minnesota "The Super Bowl of Weather."

The degree of variability in the Upper Midwest from one day to the next can be dramatic, as radically different air masses and fronts sweep over the topographically unguarded plains.

Silver's study appears to essentially be a measure of weather variability, and the map shows why Minnesota and the Upper Midwest is among the most "unpredictable" zones according to Silver.

The "least predictable" (read most variable) weather city in the U.S.?

Give it up for Rapid City, South Dakota.

silver-feature-weatherpredict-1
FiveThirtyEight

Overall, Duluth ranks as the fifth least predictable weather city. Sioux Falls is No. 3 and Fargo No. 4. Most of the top locations have relatively small populations.

1204 city
FiveThityEight

The Twin Cities ranks as the 3rd least predictable weather city on the top 50 largest U.S. cities.

The other common thread between these cities is that not very many people live in them. Indeed, among the top 23 cities on our list, none are within the 50 most populous metro areas in the United States. Among cities that do fall within the most populous metro areas, those with the most unpredictable weather are as follows:

  1. Kansas City, Missouri;

  2. Oklahoma City;

  3. Minneapolis;

  4. Cincinnati;

  5. Indianapolis;

  6. St. Louis;

  7. Birmingham, Alabama;

  8. Boston;

  9. Milwaukee;

  10. Dallas.

As for forecasting rain and snow, the toughest calls shift slightly east, and Minnesota and Wisconsin exhibit high degrees of forecast difficulty.

silver-feature-weatherpredict-3
FiveThirtyEight

The most predictable weather locales in the U.S.?

Hawaii, Arizona and California.

silver4
FiveThirtyEight

Yeah, that weather gig in Tucson was pretty sweet. And way too boring.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.