Weather forecasters explain the mega-storm that wasn’t

EVERETT — What was widely advertised as a mega-storm descended on the region Saturday but passed largely with a mere flutter, though it was enough to turn off the lights in some areas.

About 10,000 Snohomish County Public Utility District customers lost power at the height of the storm, around 8 p.m. Most were in the Silver Lake area of south Everett, with other clusters in Bothell, Brier, Lake Stevens, Machias and Oso.

By the late Sunday morning, the utility reported only 56 customers without power, mostly in northern Snohomish County.

Forecasters were left explaining why their models proved so inaccurate.

“Yes, our forecast did not turn out as predicted,” meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Seattle said in an online post. “We are not pleased about it either.”

The weather system, with remnants of Typhoon Songda, ended up staying farther offshore than originally predicted, leaving higher pressure and tamer winds over Western Washington. Experts were examining their calculations, aiming for better results.

“We hope that you do not ignore future warnings or distrust our forecasts because of this event,” the forecasters’ statement continued. “Although weather models, the technology, and the science are constantly improving, there is still an aspect of unpredictability in weather forecasting. Sometimes, Mother Nature simply does not want to cooperate with the forecast.”

Conditions were more than a little breezy for much of Saturday night, though.

A 43 mph wind gust was recorded at Paine Field around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Another was clocked at 41 mph at Arlington Airport about three hours later.

For Monday, forecasters were predicting fairly typical mid-October weather, with likely showers and a gentle to moderate breeze. Tuesday also was expected to bring showers, with slightly less breezy conditions.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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