Living in Minnesota, you know that the weather can be wild and unpredictable. Even if the forecast says one thing, we might see something completely different than what we expected in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

While this is something most Minnesotans have felt since the beginning of weather forecasting, there is now some data to prove it isn't all in our collective heads.

A recent report on the overall accuracy of weather forecasts across the United States, Minnesota is among the states with the least accurate overall forecast when it comes to looking at anything more than a day or two in advance.

Why is this? How different is it elsewhere in the country? Let's take a look.

Where are the most accurate and least accurate forecasts in the country?

Minnesota is one of 8 states with the least accurate longer-term forecasts in the entire country - specifically when it comes to temperature - which can have sweeping weather impacts beyond just how it feels outside.

In data compiled by The Washington Post, they find that Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma have some of the most unpredictable weather in the entire country. Probably not a big surprise, right?

READ MORE: Here's which Minnesota towns get the least accurate weather forecasts

The variety of factors that drive the weather the Great Plains states experience plays a huge role in the wild unpredictability of the weather in these states. That said, they say overall that any temperature forecast more than two days out is likely to be inaccurate.

Conversely, most of the East Coast and West Coast see 3-5 day forecasts being pretty accurate. The Southwest (California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico) tends to see accuracy 5-6 days out, while most of Florida can generally see temperature forecast accuracy as far out as 7 days.

How does forecast accuracy vary in Minnesota?

Even in Minnesota, there is some variability depending on location and time of year.  Using a tool on the Washington Post article, here's a look at a few different locations in Minnesota and how it varies - including the least and most accurate places for a forecast:

(Note: They define an "accurate" forecast as less than 3 degrees F different than what actually happens)

Duluth: The forecast tends to be accurate by the above definition no more than one day out, making it one of the least accurate places for a forecast. Lake Superior plays a big role in this, complicating the forecast greatly.

During the cool weather months, the Duluth forecast is slightly more accurate than during the warm weather months - generally about a degree closer to accurate in the longer-term outlooks. During the summer months, the 7-day forecast can be as far as nearly 7 degrees different than what was forecasted, which is at the high end of "inaccurate".

Believe it or not, two towns actually have less accurate forecasts than Duluth!

Beaver Bay sees even greater forecast variability, making it one of the toughest places in the state to forecast. The combination of the lake and other geographic factors put this stretch of the North Shore on the fringes of a one-day forecast being accurate. More on that here.

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Minneapolis: The overall forecast tends to be accurate only two days out, with things starting to progressively get less accurate as you get further out. The variability is pretty consistent throughout the year.

St. Cloud: Similar to the Minneapolis forecast, it is generally accurate 2 days out, barely missing the 3-day out mark. Also like Minneapolis, the variability is pretty consistent throughout the year.

Rochester: The forecast is considered accurate based on this data only one day out, barely missing the mark for the second day of the forecast. The warmer weather months see a slightly more accurate forecast in the full 7-day outlook when compared to the colder weather months.

International Falls: The forecast here is generally accurate looking two days into the future, consistently getting less accurate further into a 7-day outlook. The variability tends to be pretty consistent throughout the year, with colder weather months being slightly more accurate.

Sauk Centre: This just so happens to be one of the rare places in Minnesota where the forecast tends to be accurate the longest in Minnesota, as far as 3 days out. Even the extended forecast tends to be slightly more accurate here through a 7-day outlook and tends to be a little more accurate during the warmer weather months to predict. Grand Marais is interestingly also in this category, bucking the trend of most of the North Shore.

Why is the forecast so inaccurate in Minnesota?

It isn't because of bad forecasters. It's because, as the Washington Post puts it, there are less "moderating factors" like the ocean or the desert to make the weather less variable. Yes, I know, Lake Superior is an inland sea and Duluth has the least accurate forecast in the state. How does that work?

Lake Superior is a cold body of water with a lot of other factors that make the lake more of a wildcard in the forecast than the ocean, which is more of a moderating force. A change of wind can cause drastic temperature swings and changes in precipitation on a grand scale, as anyone who has ever lived near the big lake knows.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper