April 2009

Weather services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games

Al Wallace1 and C. Doyle2

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The Meteorological Service of Canada of Environment Canada (EC), will be the official provider of weather information and forecasts for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

An extensive network of surface and three dimensional real-time weather sensors have been deployed in the Olympic area and are operational at this time.

To prepare forecasters for the Games, a programme of forecaster on-the-job training began in Whistler in January 2006 and was completed this year. In addition, a mountain weather forecasting course was developed in cooperation with the Consortium on Meteorological Education and Training (COMET). Three courses were held in Boulder, Colorado, and a final course was presented at Whistler in August 2008.

 

Science and technology for the Games promise to be innovative. EC’s Numerical Weather Prediction Research Unit is producing applications, including the downscaling of some elements of high-resolution numerical weather prediction (NWP), particularly precipitation and wind, and the routine production of NWP at high temporal and spatial resolution. New forecast ensembles will be included in routine operational forecasting.

In the interests of short term and nowcasting, a WMO World Weather Research Programme Research Demonstration Project will include the production of operational short-term nowcasting guidance for Olympic venue forecasters.

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Weather services support during the Olympic Winter Games, 12-28 February 2010 and the Paralympics, 12-21 March 2010, will include a fully operational weather forecasting system, including dedicated venue forecasts and end-user targeted tailored products, real-time weather forecasts and observed data delivery to proprietary 2010 information systems and the provision of real-time information and professional weather advice to our federal partners, Vancouver 2010 (VANOC), the International Olympic Committee and sport and team officials directly at the venues and within the Games’ main operations centre.

 

1 Director of Meteological Service of Canada in Pacific and Yukon Region

2 Meteorologist in charge of the Olympic weather service for Environment Canada

 

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