Cloud Processes over the 2010 Winter Games Venues as Analyzed by an Enhanced Remote-Sensing Network

Event Sponsor: 
Computing, Environment and Life Sciences ARM Climate Research Faciliti
Start Date: 
Feb 22 2010 - 10:30am to 11:30am
Building 240 Conference Room 5178
Argonne National Laboratory
Dr. Edwin Campos
Speaker(s) Title: 
Environment Canada

n preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Environment Canada expanded its observational network along the Sea-to-Sky corridor (Highway 99 in British Columbia), to support weather forecasting operations and research in this mountain region. High winds, reduced visibility and mixed-phase precipitation are some of the forecasting challenges for the outdoor Games venues, all enhanced by the complex terrain conditions.

Tropospheric profiling is enhanced here by using Microwave Profiling Radiometry, UHF Wind Profiler, K-band Micro Rain Radar, and C-band Doppler weather radar. A dedicated weather radar in the Sea-to-Sky provides local analysis in the main valleys around Whistler. Operational weather radars at Mount Sicker and Aldergrove provide a mesoscale context over the venues. Radiometry observations generate profiles of vapor density, of cloud liquid water content, and of temperature. These facilitate monitoring the growth and depletion of ice particles and super-cooled droplets in winter environments. This analysis leads to a technique for nowcasting precipitation phase. A 915 MHz wind profiler is located upstream of the Olympic venues, at the junction of three valleys. Analysis of these wind profiler observations provide insight on the precipitation phase and topographic influence over the local winds.

The objective here is to demonstrate how remote-sensing retrievals are enhancing the diagnosis and nowcasting of winter weather over complex terrain. For that, we present multi-sensor analyzes on the cloud and precipitation processes occurred at the Sea-to-Sky one winter prior to the Games and during the actual 2010 Winter Games.

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