8.6 Observing, Analyzing and Simulating Snow Surface Temperature for Cross-Country Ski Racing Courses

Tuesday, 31 August 2010: 5:00 PM
Alpine Ballroom A (Resort at Squaw Creek)
Wendy Wagner, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and J. D. Horel

Ski speed is an essential factor for an Olympic cross-country skiing athlete's performance. Optimal race ski preparation depends on accurate estimates of the snow surface conditions on a race course with sufficient lead time to prepare race skis. Snow surface and snowpack observations were collected on the 2010 Olympic cross-country racing track at the Whistler Olympic Park during February 2008 and 2009. Infrared surface temperature measurements sampled every few meters around the racing ski courses are used to examine spatial variations, while point measurements in the cross-country stadium area document temporal changes. Spatial variability exceeded 10°C over the course and daytime temporal variability exceeded 16°C. Model simulations were performed using the SNOWPACK model. Simulations of snow surface temperature in the stadium area were within 1°C of those observed during most of the four day period, except during one afternoon when temperatures were overestimated by 2.5°C. Idealized simulations were completed for varying cloud cover, slope and aspect. The temporal evolution of snow surface temperature obtained found idealized model simulations were consistent with available observations.
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