Cooler but Still Mild for Sochi Early This Week
By By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
February 17, 2014, 12:51:17 AM EST
Although a decline in temperatures is expected over the next couple of days, Sochi and the Olympics will remain on the mild side which will continue to create minor problems for the outdoor events.
High temperatures are expected to climb to 64 F (18 C) in Sochi on Saturday afternoon.
Temperatures have reached at least 60 F (16 C) four of the past five days, and on Saturday climbed to 69 F (21 C)
Some sunshine is expected on Saturday evening, but clouds will increase overnight.
Even the highest peaks will climb above freezing during this stretch of time, and in fact, daytime highs will climb into the 40s F (6-9 C) during the outdoor events, potentially causing snow quality issues on various courses.
Normal high temperatures for this time of year in Sochi are around 50 F (or 10 C).
The higher-than-average temperatures could have some minor effects on the snow courses outdoors. It will be more difficult for the facility to keep the snow from melting, which could increase difficulty for some athletes. Some man-made snow may need to be added at night to help improve the conditions.
The bobsled course is another type of event that could have issues with the weather. Maintenance crews will have to work harder to keep the track in top shape for each wave of races. The rise in temperatures could cause some delay for the events.
A storm system approaching the region early next week will lead to rain in Sochi and some mountain snow followed by cooler and more seasonable weather later next week.
There has been much talk about the mild weather in Sochi and how this venue stacks up to previous locations for the Winter Olympics. With an average high temperature of 49 F (5 C) during the games, Sochi is warmer than the previous four locations.
Nagano, Japan, which hosted in 1998, records an average temperature of 39 F (4 C) during the middle of February.
Meteorologists Eric Leister, Dan DePodwin, and Jordan Root contributed to this story
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