High tech helps update weather forecast every 10 minutes at 2022 Games
Published: Jan 05, 2022 09:11 PM


Weather conditions related to sled center and tracks are on display at Yanqing District meteorological Bureau, Beijing. Photo: The Paper

Weather conditions related to sled center and tracks are on display at Yanqing District meteorological Bureau, Beijing. Photo: The Paper

In order to accurately forecast weather during the upcoming Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the meteorological service in the Yanqing district of Beijing has developed a short-term forecasting system based on high technology, which can update weather forecast in 10 minutes.

Yanqing will hold alpine skiing, bobsled and luge competitions during the Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as alpine skiing events during the Winter Paralympics, and 21 gold medals of the Olympics and 30 gold medals of the Paralympics are expected to be awarded. 

In the arena located in Yanqing, the body feeling temperature is often lower than -20 C, and the lowest temperature can reach -40 C.

In addition to the severe cold, which will test athletes' physical fitness, factors such as wind direction, wind speed and humidity may affect their performance and competition schedules, so weather predictions are crucial.

The local meteorological bureau has en scientific research and development to better serve the Games. 

The bureau has strengthened the meteorological monitoring of the arena, using weather radar and three-dimensional laser radar technology for wind measuring. 

It also developed a large eddy simulation system, which requires the terrain resolution to be less than 100 meters. 

Also, the bureau has developed a short-time forecasting system, which can quickly update the weather forecast data in 10 minutes.

Through cryptic three-dimensional meteorological observation experiments of snow-based events in the Games, the bureau has carried out systematic observation experiments and analyses.

These experiments involved three-dimensional meteorological observation of medium-, small- and micro-scale areas in the winter amid the complex, mountainous terrain, The Paper reported on Wednesday.Also, the 100-meter and minute-level operational weather forecast has been achieved for the first time.

The Global Times learned from sources involved with the Games' meteorological services that with just 30 days to go, the preparations and services for the Games are underway.

The meteorological service in Yanqing will provide weather forecast hourly for the arena during various games. The nature and contents of forecasts will vary, the sources noted.

Yan Hongliang, a deputy director of Yanqing's meteorological service, told The Paper that the first meteorological report will be issued at 5 am every day during the Games, and updates will be issued every hour. Also, the weather forecast for the next one to 10 days will be provided every day during the Games.

According to Yan, meteorological services for the Games fall into two main categories - forecasting service and monitoring over meteorological equipment operation.

The weather forecast team of 11 members will be on duty 24 hours every day during the Games. Two forecasters will be on site at alpine skiing and bobsled venues, respectively, mainly responsible for timely reporting of weather information.

The two forecasters will issue special weather reports both in English and Chinese to referees, event organizers, and some coaches and athletes, and explain the overall trend of the weather in coming days, said Yan, The Paper reported.

Reporters saw a special weather report released at 11 am on Monday, which featured a detailed report about the maximum gust speed at the top of the mountain of the venue, the wind speed at the end zone of the race, the maximum high temperature and the minimum low temperature at the top and the end zones of the race, as well as the forecast for the next four to 10 days.

The report also contains 24- and 72-hour temperatures, relative humidity, average wind speed, new snow depth, precipitation, visibility, and other specific data.

In normal circumstances, several representative meteorological observatory stations are enough, located on the plains and in the mountains, but as the temperature difference over 900 meters can reach 7-8 C, and the weather elements change dramatically, they built more meteorological observatory stations, Yan noted.

There are eight stations at the alpine ski center and bobsled center, according to Yan.