12th Conference on Mountain Meteorology

16.3

Meteorological Preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games

Chris Doyle, EC, Vancouver, BC, Canada; and W. L. Scott, S. Gravel, G. A. Isaac, and P. Joe

Vancouver, British Columbia, was awarded the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2004. The overall venue for the 2010 Games will be held in a landscape ranging from coastal plains to complex mountainous terrain. Much of the Olympic area - the region of south-western British Columbia encompassing the lower Fraser river valley and the narrow valley extending from Vancouver to Whistler, is a near-pristine wilderness with a sparse observational and climatologic record.

To meet the meteorological needs of the Olympics, three main initiatives are planned and underway:

1. An increased density and type of meteorological observations: The existing weather observing network in this area has many gaps and may not detect small scale, yet intense, weather systems that could significantly affect public safety and security, and the operation of the Olympic Games. The surface network is therefore being significantly upgraded. In addition, three-dimensional sensors including dual polarization Doppler radar and a wind profiler are being acquired.

2. New forecaster training and development: The need for meteorologists to have a sound understanding of the meteorology of a complex mountainous region has lead to the development,in Cooperation with the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET), on a residency course on the meteorology and forecasting of weather in mountainous environments.

This Mountain Weather Course contains a series of lectures and laboratories led by several academic and/or operational experts. The next offering of this 1-week course is scheduled for December 2006.

3. Improvements to the operational forecasting model and new model outputs: A very high resolution numerical weather prediction model the Canadian GEM 2.5 km - will be used as the operational forecasting model for 2010. Currently, many aspects of the GEM 2.5 are in development. In 2008, an operational version will be fixed with respect to its internal physics and processes for the use of Olympic forecasters. A number of forecast production and visualization tools will be developed to fully exploit GEM 2.5 forecast fields.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (352K)

Session 16, Forecasting Mountain Weather: Part II
Friday, 1 September 2006, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Ballroom South

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