OLYMPICS Winter Olympics trivia: How important are meteorological services for the Winter Olympics?


Winter Olympics trivia: How important are meteorological services for the Winter Olympics?

People's Daily online

14:27, January 06, 2022

Thirty percent of the events for the Winter Olympics are held on ice, and with 70 percent on snow. Snow events, which are held outdoors, are prone to be affected by meteorological conditions. Wind, temperatures and visibility all have impacts on the performance of athletes.

Previously, heavy snow, fog and wind, as well as strong rebounds in temperatures would always lead to the suspension, rescheduling and even cancellation of events.

Most of the Winter Olympic Games were held in oceanic-climate cities, and Beijing is the first city with a continental monsoon climate to hold the Games in the most recent 20 years.

Seasonal changes from winter to spring every February and March in Beijing as well as Zhangjiakou, another competition zone for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in addition to extreme weather, are usually expected to occur during this period of time, such as cold waves, heavy winds and sandstorms. Heavy winds might influence the events held on snow. Therefore, Beijing has made full preparation in order to provide sound meteorological services.

A total of 411 sets of surveying facilities and equipment have been deployed near the venues in the three competition zones in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, which enable the meteorological department to forecast key meteorological conditions within a spatial resolution of 100 meters under complex terrains every 10 minutes.

Snow events will be hosted in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, where the terrains are complicated. Service teams are expected to offer targeted forecasting services for every single venue and event there.

China's scientific institutions have also launched research for years for the study of boundary layers' properties in complicated mountainous areas, comprehensive observation and the data simulation of snowfall, in addition to the short-term forecasting of mountainous weather, smart grid forecasting and meteorological guarantees for air rescues. These efforts will offer solid support for the meteorological services offered during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

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