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Which way will winter weather go? Who knows?

Duane Wages faces a stiff north wind during a Grand Forks blizzard in this file photo. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service

Two competing farmer's almanacs have published conflicting winter forecasts, with one predicting a cold and snowy season and the other expecting one that is mild and dry.

Each prediction is equally as likely to happen, according to one meteorologist. Predictions that are months away leave large margins for error.

"I would not be surprised if this changes next week when they run the tests again," National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Moore said.

According to weather service data, September is just as likely to be warmer as it is to have below average temperatures and Moore said the trend will continue throughout fall.

Winter predictions are not much clearer, though Moore said one graph predicts there could be slightly warmer temperatures. But don't make any big bets, because it's also possible the graph could change as we get closer to winter.

The Farmer's Almanac claims its long-range forecasting is accurate 80 to 85 percent of the time. The publication claims Minnesota will experience a "teeth-chattering cold" winter with increased snowfall.

A rival publication with a similar name, the Old Farmer's Almanac, said just the opposite, but boasts the same 80 percent accuracy level. The publication said this winter will be warmer and drier throughout the country, excluding the southwest region.

Though predictions are contradictory, one thing is certain — someone is definitely off. Either way, Moore said, it's likely this winter will be "nothing too crazy."

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