the first time ever, government and private meteorologists and
academic experts will share forecast responsibilities at the
Olympics. As 3,500 athletes and officials from 80 countries
show up in Northern Utah next February, NOAA's National
Weather Service will be a prominent player.
this month, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the XIX
Olympic Winter Games announced a unique partnership between
the weather service, University of Utah and private meteorologists.
The goal is provide the most accurate, timely and site-specific
want everyone to be weather-wise and weather-safe. Our job will
be very important in ensuring that people coming to Utah will
be prepared for various winter weather conditions that can change
in a short period of time. We know that National Weather Service
forecasts and warnings will be an important tool for people
associated with or attending the games," said retired Brig.
Gen. Jack Kelly, director of the National Weather Service.
Jack Kelly, Director of NOAA's National
Weather Service, and
Mitt Romney (right), head of the Salt Lake organizing committee,
announce first-ever weather partnership for the upcoming Winter
Private meteorologists and the University of Utah have also
joined the partnership.
the over 11,000-feet Wasatch Mountains as a dramatic natural
backdrop, Salt Lake City and surrounding areas will host competitions
for seven winter sports and over 78 medal events. For the first
time, a host city has also integrated preparations for the Paralympic
Winter Games. The world's top Paralympians will compete in Northern
Utah next March at the same sites used in the earlier games.
National Weather Service will provide critical base-level meteorological
and hydrological services during the games. These will include
providing winter storm warnings to the state's 2,000,000 residents
and the expected 1,500,000 visitors. Also key will be briefings
for public safety, aviation, security, and emergency management
At least twice daily, the weather service will, as warranted,
issue special hazardous forecasts for the various transportation
corridors leading to Olympic sites. These will help both the
public traveling to and from various "park and ride" lots and
transportation officials trying to ensure smooth traffic flow.
University of Utah has developed weather tracking systems designed
specifically for Utah and the Olympics. The university has involved
about one-third of its meteorology students in some aspect of
the collaborative effort. The joint weather forecast team already
demonstrated its shared capabilities earlier this year at the
World Cup and U.S. finals.
official Olympic Weather Center will be located at the weather
service's Salt Lake City Forecast Office. Here, private and
government meteorological teams will prepare the daily forecasts.