P2.36 Forecasting mountainside temperature profiles on Whistler Mountain

Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Alpine Ballroom B (Resort at Squaw Creek)
Lisa N. Erven, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; and I. McKendry

In February and March, the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic alpine events. To facilitate accurate forecasting, Environment Canada installed five automated weather stations at specific elevations to capture representative weather information for the alpine courses. Five additional UBC stations were installed for research purposes to obtain high-resolution profiles of slope-air temperature.

Hourly plots of temperature versus height for these stations were made available to forecasters in real time during the Olympic and Paralympic games. These profiles are compared to the Whistler radiosonde as well as other upstream radiosondes, and divided into categories based on a weather type classification scheme. Representative (averaged) temperature profiles are ascertained for each weather type. These profiles are then used to evaluate the classification system as a prognostic tool for forecasting temperature profiles and stability. Further, we evaluate the extent to which upstream radiosonde data is representative of the Whistler Valley for given synoptic conditions, and its relation to the slope-air profiles.

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