Menu

WEATHER

2014 Winter Olympics Host City Fears Snow Shortage

Organizers of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are storing snow to assure there will be enough for the winter games that will take place in February.

Seven storage areas in the Caucasus Mountains have been prepared to store 450,000 cubic meters of snow. That is enough snow to encompass the entire cruise ship Voyager of the Seas, according to voyager-class.com.

Warmer than expected weather, and the inability to complete some Olympic tests this winter, have the organizers fearful the amount of snow next winter will not be enough, according to the AP.

"Sochi, Russia, is located on the sea and is one of the warmest areas in Russia," said AccuWeather Senior Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews. The temperature in Sochi averages in the mid 30s during the months of December through February.

Once the snow is in the storage area, it will be covered with a special thermo seal to help prevent melting over the summer. Still, the organizers expect about 140,000 cubic meters to melt. The snow that remains should be plenty for the freestyle skiing, Alpine skiing and snowboarding events.

The town of Sochi averaged 7.9 inches of precipitation in January with an average monthly temperature of 33 degrees F. "Sochi has a very wet climate. They get a lot of precipitation during the winter and much of that is snow," said Andrews.

The Winter Olympics held in Vancouver in 2010 experienced a lack of snow. Organizers of that event used helicoptered in snow, trucked in snow and even snow produced by a snow machine to build up their snow totals.

To keep the transported snow from melting, tubes of packed dry ice were placed on the slopes of the mountain and replaced every 12 hours, according to guardian.co.uk.

According to Sergei Blachin, general director of the Roza Khutor ski resort in Krasnaya Polyana (host resort of the ski and snowboarding events), there is no doubt that enough snow will be there for the Alpine skiing, snowboarding and freestyle skiing events of 2014.