Salt Lake City Olympics Support


The purpose of this modeling effort was to provide the Defense Threat Reduction Agency with wind and other boundary-layer data to be used for transport and dispersion calculations in the event hazardous material was released into the atmosphere during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.


During the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, NCAR operated an MM5-based mesoscale data-assimilation and forecast system that provided analyses and forecasts of winds on a variety of scales, from the area of the western U.S. down to the urban scale. The meteorological situation was challenging in that the complex orography and the coastline of the Great Salt Lake produced interacting sea-land breezes and mountain-valley breezes. The data-assimilation system and forecast model that were employed were similar to the system developed by RAL for Army test-range support. The grid increment of the inner-most grid was 1.3 km, and was capable of representing the thermal and dynamic effects of the Salt Lake City urban area. A variety of local near-surface data were assimilated by the model.