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Quality weather forecasting prepared for Winter Olympics

2020-12-14 15:01:00 Xinhuanet

Quality weather services will be provided in real time during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to ensure outdoor sports events come off smoothly.

To that end, organizers have set up advanced meteorological facilities, hired specialists and upgraded technology.

Quality weather forecasting is of great importance to outdoor sports events of Winter Olympics because athletes' performances — and even whether an event can be held at all — are connected to factors such as wind, rain, snow, temperature and visibility, said Shi Shaoying, head of the meteorological service team for the Yanqing competition area of the Games in Beijing.

"If we can forecast the weather accurately, we can make timely adjustments," she said.

The alpine skiing center in Beijing's Yanqing district, for example, is on Haituo Mountain at altitudes between 1,360 and 2,198 meters above sea level. The difference in winds at the top and bottom is large and the land forms are complex, posing meteorological forecasting challenges based on previous numerical models, Shi said.

Shi's 11-member team conducted site surveys on the mountain for four years to revise data, with the goal of producing a high-resolution forecast every minute for each 100 meters of competitive course, she said.

Zhang Man, deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Observation Center, said 21 automated meteorological stations have been built in competition areas of Yanqing. The stations can monitor multiple weather elements, including wind direction and speed, rainfall, temperature and humidity of air and ground, atmospheric pressure and radiation, and can report with high frequency, she said.

A sports testing program will be held in February and March 2021 to validate their meteorological forecasting capability, provide new data and ensure high-quality services for the Games, Shi said.

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