Weather Forecasting for 2010 v7 Doyle

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Information about Weather Forecasting for 2010 v7 Doyle

Published on May 2, 2008

Author: Soffia


Weather Support for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games :  Weather Support for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games Chris Doyle Environment Canada, Meteorological Service Pacific and Yukon Region The role of the Federal Government in Meteorology:  The role of the Federal Government in Meteorology The mission of the Meteorological Service of Canada is to anticipate and respond to the evolving needs and expectations of Canadians and their institutions for meteorological, hydrological and related information and prediction services thereby helping Canadian adapt …in ways which safeguard their health and safety, optimize economic activity and enhance environmental quality. –source MSC. …in 2010, the eyes of the world will be on Canada as Vancouver and Whistler host the winter Olympics, an opportunity to inspire Canadian pride and achievement… - source the Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, speech from the Throne, 2 February 2004 Local Assets :  Local Assets Staff with operational expertise in Calgary 1988 Atlanta 1992 Weather forecasters with a focus on High Impact weather Local knowledge Scientific skill What defines the requirements for weather support?:  What defines the requirements for weather support? The SLC experience – significant investments in observations, modeling and forecasting. “It's critical to the games to be able to have accurate weather forecasts on basically a minute-by-minute basis. We need to know whether spectators should come up to a venue determine whether there's any risk of avalanche or any other kind of problem like that. We also need to make sure that the skiers and snowboarders and other participants know exactly what the conditions will be so we can determine whether to maintain an event or cancel it, postpone it, based upon weather considerations. So it''s essential to the Games to have accurate weather forecasting” - Mitt Romney, President and CEO, Salt Lake Organizing Committee What’s the difference between SLC and Vancouver/Whistler?:  What’s the difference between SLC and Vancouver/Whistler? The weather is: Worse. Harder to forecast. Not enough data. Topography is complex. Partnership challenges. Partnership challenges:  Partnership challenges SLC weather partners included: NBC TV (14 forecasters at the venues) U of Utah (computer modeling and data management) NWS (broad-scale forecasts and warnings) State Gov’t of Utah (financial support and data) Other Federal Departments (data and $$) 2010 weather partnerships?:  2010 weather partnerships? Limited private sector capacity for weather forecasting in Canada. No local private sector forecasting expertise. Limited Provincial resources. University partnerships a possibility – they do have local expertise in modeling Slide8:  Topographical challenges Topography of the Lower Mainland and Sea-to-Sky:  Topography of the Lower Mainland and Sea-to-Sky Highly variant Creates differing weather conditions over short scales of distance, altitude and time – a 4 d forecast problem most of the Rest of Canada doesn’t have. Inadequately observed. Creates weather surprises (forecast for Whistler Thursday Jan 29th- Friday 5-10 cm snow. Observation 41 cm. Data Challenges SLC 2002 – 80+ observations within 50 km 250+ within 200 km:  Data Challenges SLC 2002 – 80+ observations within 50 km 250+ within 200 km Slide11:  Data Challenges: Vancouver Whistler 2010: currently 31 reliable but incomplete observations within 100 km Other Data challenges: Olympic Venues:  Other Data challenges: Olympic Venues Current data set is limited Requirements range from sophisticated to basic – depends on event requirements (SLC experience) Coverage of the venues alone is NOT adequate for 2010 forecasting Weather effects on the Olympics :  Weather effects on the Olympics Sport Competition Delays & Postponements Transportation (Ground and Air) Spectator Safety & Comfort Broadcasting/Ceremonies/Look of the Games/Cultural Events Medical Emergency Response Security Engineering Environmental Quality & Air Pollution Venue Weather concerns (alpine specific) :  Venue Weather concerns (alpine specific) High winds at mountain locations Gap, downslope, outflow or ridge-top winds; other terrain-induced flows Ski Jump venue (sensitive to moderate winds and gusts) Obstructions to visibility in moist flow (World cup fog) Generic West Coast weather concerns :  Generic West Coast weather concerns Heavy rain (duration and intensity) Avalanches Mud or Rock Slides (bridge washouts) Snowstorms on the Sea-to-Sky corridor/City Windstorms/ Alpine windstorms Valley inversions/cold pools Fog, poor visibility and air quality (PM-10) and effect on air transportation Effect of local conditions on type of precipitation Extreme or unseasonably high or low temperatures Lightning Weather Impacts February 2002 October 2003:  Weather Impacts February 2002 October 2003 Severe winter Storms. A “pineapple express” doused the south coast with heavy rain on Feb 21/22. Amounts in the greater Vancouver area ranged from 40-60mm ( 53.0 at Vancouver Cypress rising to 92 mm at Hope, 89 mm at Squamish). This system dumped 40 cm of snow on Whistler in 24 hours. Major Flooding. October 2003 brought a rainfall event that flooded homes in Squamish and destroyed a highway and railway bridge near Pemberton. 4 Deaths are attributed to the storm with millions of $ in property and infrastructure damage. Weather Impacts March 2003:  Weather Impacts March 2003 March 7th -… Snowstorm in Southern BC…30 to 50 cm on Coquihalla – major closure of highway. School bus slid off highway near Revelstoke injuring 12 students, numerous accidents in the eastern Fraser Valley including a 7 car pileup near Hope. March 8th – snow in lower mainland & east Vancouver Island. March 11 – Avalanches cause major closure of Trans Canada between Revelstoke and Lake Louise. Avalanche rating for entire province “extreme” March 13 – Wind and rainstorm wreaks havoc on Vancouver Island                                        Summary of requirements (1):  Summary of requirements (1) There are 5 winters remaining before the Games begin. To deliver a high quality service with minimal surprises we need : At least 25 additional observing sites (6 venue sites plus 19 others) ASAP. We need to begin gathering data and developing models this summer. Summary of Requirements (II):  Summary of Requirements (II) Next, we need to develop: a data assimilation system, a high resolution modeling system, venue specific weather data, information telecommunications, and To do basic research on high-impact weather at the venue, communities and corridor. Olympic forecasting – What needs to be done (1):  Olympic forecasting – What needs to be done (1) Regional and venue surface observing network design and implementation Local and regional data assimilation project- putting the data to work Real-time modeling – feeding the data to computers and training them to produce helpful weather guidance Development of statistical forecasting aids What needs to be done (II):  What needs to be done (II) Development of forecast team and Olympic dissemination network and systems Basic Science on local weather effects Forecaster training – developing a familiarity with the spectrum of venue weather Connecting with all who are weather sensitive Next steps II:  Next steps II Expert Working group –discussing needs and observation network design Possible members include: Resort weather staff Olympic Committee and sports experts EC forecasters/managers EC Data experts Vendors EC Scientists/modelers UBC atmospheric sciences Weather staff from other Olympic committees An initial meeting/teleconference was held on May 25th Tasks of Expert Working group (1):  Tasks of Expert Working group (1) Data network Recommendations on acquisition of equipment Design Deployment Operation (including data management) Numerical Weather Prediction Design Data assimilation Testing Evaluation and feedback UMOS Tasks of Expert Working group (II):  Tasks of Expert Working group (II) Forecaster Development and Training. Distance modules On site Telecommunications network Data to forecasters Data to Olympic officials Data to media/others Decisions:  Decisions Our own preliminary studies and the SLC model suggest we need to add a ~25 station weather observing network this summer. We need a commitment from the 2010 OC to acquire the instrumentation and to provide resources for installation to the extent possible. We need to work out a weather services agreement with the OC – but getting data is critical and time is of the essence. The longer we go without data the less skill we will have. We are approaching the Federal Cabinet this year for additional funding but the decision making process will not be completed until fall 2004 at the earliest.

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