#1 - Spring Weather for the Olympic Winter Games
The Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) promised the XXI Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games would be the “greenest on record”. Oh, were they right! But never could they have anticipated that the Olympic city would experience its mildest winter ever and one that was practically snow-free – far worse than the 1-in-100-year winter organizers feared.
One of the biggest worries for officials was the possibility of El Niño, an episodic warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean that occurs every two to five years. There have been 17 El Niño events over the last 60 years and, of those, Vancouver experienced 14 warmer than normal (3 colder) and 14 with less snow than normal (3 with more snow). Unfortunately, El Niño emerged in the summer of 2009, grew in strength and followed the majority of its predecessors in regard to its impact. While organizers and volunteers prepared for every eventuality at the Winter Games, including the weather, the reality is that no one can control Mother Nature. Climatologically, Vancouver was the warmest bid city in history. The risk was high; the pressure at home and abroad was enormous.
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Photo: Rob Kuhn © Environment Canada, 2010.
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