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Meteorological Service to Safeguard Beijing 2022

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-01-27 10:38:04 | Author: TANG Zhexiao

Located in Yanqing District, Beijing, the National Alpine Skiing Centre will hold Alpine skiing events during the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. (PHOTO: VCG)

    Weather predictions are crucial in outdoor winter games. Accurate and reliable forecasts of wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity and visibility will affect event scheduling, athletic performance and safety.

    During the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Alpine skiing and sliding events will be held at the Haituo Mountain area in Yanqing district of Beijing. The Nordic skiing and ski -jumping events will take place in Zhangjiakou city of Hebei province.

    To accurately forecast the weather during the upcoming Beijing 2022 is a great challenge, owning to the continental winter monsoon conditions and the scarcity of research, operational techniques and experience in winter meteorological forecasting in the two complex mountain areas of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou competition zones.

    However, enhanced high technology will be used to support weather research and forecasts during the Games.

    According to the Beijing Meteorological Service, 441 facilities have been set up for weather forecasts during Beijing 2022 in the three competition zones of Beijing and Zhangjiakou, enabling accurate weather forecasts by the minute for a range of 100 meters.

    Building weather station from scratch

    Accuracy of forecasting depends on acquisition of meteorological data.

    The meteorological data of Haituo Mountain in Yanqing district was almost nonexistent before 2013, meaning, meteorologists had to start from scratch to obtain research data.

    They decided to go to the mountains and become trailblazers, striving to build a comprehensive weather station network in the complex terrain of Haituo Mountain.

    "There was no road, no water and no electricity," said Zhang Man, deputy head of meteorological service team in Yanqing district, adding that heavy equipment and instruments were carried on mules, and precise instruments were carried on meteorologists' backs.

    A monitoring point is the data generating and collection place. In order to find suitable monitoring points that meet the standards, they went deep into Haituo Mountain over and over again.

    Biting wind, rock-hard bread and frozen water didn't stop these determined meteorologists. A comprehensive monitoring network of weather stations in Haituo Mountain was finally established after their hard work.

    Cutting-edge meteorological technology at Beijing 2022

    Numerical weather prediction (NWP) uses mathematical models of the atmosphere and oceans to predict the weather based on current weather conditions.

    The 100 meter-range grid refers to an observation and calculation point setting every 100 meters. During the previous Winter Olympics, the weather forecast was mostly based on a kilometer-range grid, and the update frequency was 30 to 60 minutes. For Beijing 2022, the grid range can narrow down to 67 meters, updating weather forecasts in 10 minutes.

    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 Hongliang, deputy director of Yanqing's meteorological service.

    To improve accuracy, the technical team also developed an artificial intelligence correction model. This is the first time in history that artificial intelligence forecast technology has been applied to the Winter Olympics weather service.

    With the wide application of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and NWP in mountainous areas, a comprehensive meteorological forecast system of the Beijing Winter Olympics meteorological services has been established.

    In the future,the high-precision forecasting technology developed for Beijing 2022 will also be used in more daily scenarios such as the guarantee of major national events, the safe operation of large cities, as well as the early warning of extreme weather.

Editor: 王晓夏

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