Sochi 2014 prepared for all possible weather conditions
The Sochi 2014 Organising Committee has been working closely with top meteorologists and other specialists to ensure there will be no lack of snow during the Olympic Winter Games.
The Games' official snow consultant, Mikko Martikainen, was hired in 2010 to guarantee the right conditions in the Krasnaya Polyana mountains, with preparations including storing snow from higher areas of the mountains and installing artificial snowmaking equipment.
Games organisers now believe they will be ready to deal with all eventualities, with Martikainen confident that his in-depth preparations and backup plans – which have also included poring over historical weather data from the region – can guarantee enough snow, despite forecasts suggesting higher than average temperatures during the Games.
"It has been an average winter," says Martikainen. "Until December, it was slightly colder than average in the lowest elevation parts of the mountain. But now, we might be at a turning point. If this long-term forecast is right, from the information that I have, it should be warmer than average until the end of the Games.
"If it is really turning warmer, it will mean a lot of work. But we will jump. We will ski. That's for sure."
To ensure smooth running of the Games, the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee has implemented a "guaranteed snow" programme. The programme includes 710,000 cubic metres of stored snow.
"We have generated necessary stocks of snow and artificial snow and arranged for storage during the summer period. There will be enough snow for all competitions," said Sergey Bondarenko, head of Sochi 2014’s sport function. "We have experience to deal with all weather conditions as we did during test events last year."
Additionally, snowmaking equipment has been deployed, including 404 fixed and 27 mobile snowmaking machines which will be able to produce snow when temperatures rise above zero, which will not only ensure the continuity and quality of the Games programme, but also help extend the season for the ski resorts in the region, providing an important legacy from the Games.