J9.1A Automated Snowfall Measurements—2010 Winter Olympics

Monday, 24 January 2011: 4:00 PM
615-617 (Washington State Convention Center)
Bill Scott, EC, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Most of the outdoor venues for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics were held in the Whistler area. This area was historically very data sparce and typically has excessive heavy, wet coastal snowfalls that can exceed the capabilities of common automated sensor systems. Several sensors had be be modified through trial and error, support structures had to be custom designed and datalogger programs needed to be customized to ensure that accurate precipitation related data could be transmitted in 15 minute intervals. During the Olympics, it was a requirement for forecast updates every 15 minutes and therefore it was deemed important to supply accurate ground truthing for verification. It quickly became evident that the design of standard 'snowfall measuring' equipment is generally designed for dry, light interior snow and not for the sticky wet snow to be anticipated along the West Coast Mountains.
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