89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 11:00 AM
Overview of the science plan for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
Room 122BC (Phoenix Convention Center)
Paul Joe, Environment Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada; and G. Isaac, J. Mailhot, S. Belair, M. Charron, and C. Doyle
In Feb 2010, the Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver, Cypres, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and in the Callaghan Valley. Forecasts are needed at all time and space scales and in particular on the nowcast scale (0-3 hours). The average temperature in the Whistler valley are -2.3o and -0.6o C with a mix of rain and snow in February and March. Typically on Whistler Mountain, high winds can be expected at the top, fog and low cloud at mid-levels and snow-rain at lower levels. Combined with coastal aspects, winter weather and complex terrain issues, the nowcast problems have not been adequately addressed.

There are four aspects to address and improved the winter, coastal, complex terrain nowcasting problem. First, to support the operational requirement, a monitoring program is implemented and will include a unique suite of in-situ sensors capable of collecting heavy wet snow and measuring wind in icing conditions will be implemented. A valley radar is sited to produce vertical-section products and high temporal snowfall measurements. Secondly, development of high resolution models require improvements in microphysics scheme and initialization approaches. These model outputs are used to drive a very high resolution surface scheme to forecast relevant weather elements at each of the venues. An aviaton nowcast system, CAN-NOW, is adapted to produce nowcasts of many weather elements including temperature, visibility, wind, etc besides the usual precipitaton intensity. In addition, a mesoscale ensemble prediction system will be implemented. Thirdly, a World Meteorological Organization Research Development Project is proposed to accelerate the development of winter complex terrain nowcasts, to provide real-time verification and to develop end-user specific products. Fourth, to understand the precipitation processes in complex terrain, an in-situ and vertically remote sensing data collection campaign is planned. An overview will be presented of the science program and details will be presented in other conference contributions.

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