Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 171, Issue 1–2, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Science of Nowcasting Olympic Weather for Vancouver 2010 (SNOW-V10): a World Weather Research Programme Project

  • G. A. Isaac
  • P. I. Joe
  • J. Mailhot
  • M. Bailey
  • S. Bélair
  • F. S. Boudala
  • M. Brugman
  • E. Campos
  • R. L. CarpenterJr.
  • R. W. Crawford
  • S. G. Cober
  • B. Denis
  • C. Doyle
  • H. D. Reeves
  • I. Gultepe
  • T. Haiden
  • I. Heckman
  • L. X. Huang
  • J. A. Milbrandt
  • R. Mo
  • R. M. Rasmussen
  • T. Smith
  • R. E. Stewart
  • D. Wang
  • L. J. Wilson
Article

Abstract

A World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) project entitled the Science of Nowcasting Olympic Weather for Vancouver 2010 (SNOW-V10) was developed to be associated with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games conducted between 12 February and 21 March 2010. The SNOW-V10 international team augmented the instrumentation associated with the Winter Games and several new numerical weather forecasting and nowcasting models were added. Both the additional observational and model data were available to the forecasters in real time. This was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate existing capability in nowcasting and to develop better techniques for short term (0–6 h) nowcasts of winter weather in complex terrain. Better techniques to forecast visibility, low cloud, wind gusts, precipitation rate and type were evaluated. The weather during the games was exceptionally variable with many periods of low visibility, low ceilings and precipitation in the form of both snow and rain. The data collected should improve our understanding of many physical phenomena such as the diabatic effects due to melting snow, wind flow around and over terrain, diurnal flow reversal in valleys associated with daytime heating, and precipitation reductions and increases due to local terrain. Many studies related to these phenomena are described in the Special Issue on SNOW-V10 for which this paper was written. Numerical weather prediction and nowcast models have been evaluated against the unique observational data set now available. It is anticipated that the data set and the knowledge learned as a result of SNOW-V10 will become a resource for other World Meteorological Organization member states who are interested in improving forecasts of winter weather.

Keywords

Nowcast olympic snow mountain weather forecast 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the support of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and specifically the Nowcasting Working Group of WWRP. This project would not have been conducted without the support of Al Wallace and Gilbert Brunet of Environment Canada. Many staff at the Pacific Storm Prediction Centre and at the Canadian Meteorological Centre also provided support. Walter Dabberdt, Herb Winston and George Frederick of Vaisala provided valuable advice, partial funding of a Visiting Fellow, and participated in our planning meetings. Doug Forseth and Doug Mcfarlane of Whistler-Blackcomb Mountain provided key support without which the installations could not have proceeded smoothly. Anton Horvath and Jan Davies, snow avalanche forecasters at Whistler-Blackcomb, provided on-site support and valuable advice about the weather on Whistler. Bill Scott, George Davies, Frank Mirecki, Drew Pawley and Patricia Wong installed, maintained and supported the Pacific Region installations. Robert Reed, Michael Harwood, Steve Bacic, Ron Ruff, Karen Haynes and Ka Sung technically supported the SNOW-V10 installations. Ron Stewart was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviews for their helpful comments.

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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. Isaac
    • 1
  • P. I. Joe
    • 1
  • J. Mailhot
    • 2
  • M. Bailey
    • 1
  • S. Bélair
    • 2
  • F. S. Boudala
    • 1
  • M. Brugman
    • 3
  • E. Campos
    • 4
  • R. L. CarpenterJr.
    • 5
  • R. W. Crawford
    • 1
  • S. G. Cober
    • 1
  • B. Denis
    • 2
  • C. Doyle
    • 3
  • H. D. Reeves
    • 6
  • I. Gultepe
    • 1
  • T. Haiden
    • 7
  • I. Heckman
    • 1
  • L. X. Huang
    • 1
  • J. A. Milbrandt
    • 2
  • R. Mo
    • 3
  • R. M. Rasmussen
    • 8
  • T. Smith
    • 3
  • R. E. Stewart
    • 9
  • D. Wang
    • 10
  • L. J. Wilson
    • 2
  1. 1.Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research SectionEnvironment CanadaONCanada
  2. 2.Atmospheric Numerical Prediction ResearchEnvironment CanadaDorvalCanada
  3. 3.Meteorological Service of CanadaEnvironment CanadaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Argonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  5. 5.Weather Decision TechnologiesNormanUSA
  6. 6.NOAA/OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory, and Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of OklahomaNormanUSA
  7. 7.Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG)ViennaAustria
  8. 8.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA
  9. 9.Department of Environment and GeographyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  10. 10.Chinese Academy of Meteorological ScienceBeijingChina

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