Dry, Mild Weather In Store for Opening Ceremonies of Sochi Games
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, February 04 2014 @ 04:03 PM EST
Dry weather is forecast as the ceremonies commence Friday around 8:00 p.m. local time, Feb. 7, 2014 with a temperature near 44 F; 6.7 C.
According to World Weather Expert Jason Nicholls, "For athletes practicing during this week leading up to the start of the games, most of the time will be dry with seasonable temperatures."
The average February high temperature at the city of Sochi, located along the coast of the Black Sea, is in the upper 40s F or 9 C. Well inland, at the base of the Krasnaya Polyana in the Caucasus Mountains, the average high is in the middle to upper 30s F or around 3 C. However, temperatures trend downward approximately 5.5 F or 3 C per thousand feet of increasing elevation.
The terrain is very similar to that of the Vancouver, B.C. Winter Games. Correspondingly, the weather behaves similarly to the weather along the British Columbia and Washington coasts.
"Some snow is possible at the mountain venues during the week of Feb. 10, but no major storms are forecast to impact the region," Nichols said.
Any precipitation will fall as rain in Sochi during the first week of the games. Even milder air is expected to build over the region during the week of the 17th.
"There is plenty of snow on the slopes now and it is not likely to disappear during the games, despite the upcoming mild weather," Nicholls said.
Snowmaking equipment exists at the mountain venues. Snow has also been stored nearby in case warm weather causes the snow to melt at intermediate levels.
Another concern is that any gusty winds over the mountains could make the existing snowpack unstable, potentially raising the risk for avalanches.
However, there are preventative measures in place should the situation arise.
Overall, the weather pattern during the Sochi Games is expected to be precipitation-free much of the time with near- to above-normal temperatures.
By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com