NOAA Deploys Mobile Radar to the 2010 Olympic Games

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory’s (NSSL) X-Band Dual-Polarized mobile Doppler radar (NO-XP), known for investigating tornadoes, has been deployed to support forecasting during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The effort is an international collaboration on the science of winter nowcasting in complex terrain called Science and NOWcasting of Olympic Weather for Vancouver 2010 (SNOW-V10).

The NO-XP radar is positioned near Blaine, Wash. close to the Canadian border but in view of the Cypress Mountain venue where freestyle skiing, snowboard and snowboard halfpipe competitions will take place.  Operations have already started, and will continue through March 22, 2010 with the closing of the Paralympic Games.

NSSL’s researchers also plan to study the collected dual-polarized Doppler radar data to better understand the winter precipitation environment.

SNOW-V10 is a World Weather Research Project of the World Meteorological Organization.  Participants include Environment Canada, University of Basel, Switzerland, Finnish Meteorological Institute, National Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Bonn, Germany, Center for Australian Weather and Climate Research, University of Manitoba, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Science, Vaisala, Weather Decision Technologies, NOAA NESDIS, and NOAA NSSL.

NSSL has provided forecasting support during several Olympic Games including the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Ut., and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.