Over 7,500 athletes from across the Americas and the Caribbean are set to compete in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games beginning July 10. They’ll be tackling over 50 sports, many of them outdoors on the lake, grassy field or BMX course.
So they’ll want to be prepared for whatever the summer weather throws at them.
To help athletes and coaches make important decisions on event day, the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is providing Environment Canada with a customized web portal for the Games to display up-to-the-minute weather forecasts and alerts.
The weather data portal is available in both English and French and will allow coaches from 41 international sporting federations to prepare their athletes for possible storms, wind and heat—whether they’re trimming sails, swinging a golf club, or sprinting the marathon.
The portal may also help security teams, Games officials and venue managers make important decisions about delays or public notifications.
The portal will generate realtime weather-related information provided by Environment Canada including temperature, UV index, precipitation, humidity and wind. Users can also check links to radar, satellite and jetstream information or vital alerts such as lightning, air quality and wind.
ONC operates world-leading cabled ocean observatories in the northeast Pacific and Arctic oceans. The ONC web interface provides free access to high quality scientific data from the observatories to over 11,000 researchers and users in 160 countries around the globe.
“It may seem strange that an ocean research facility is involved with the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in southern Ontario,” says Benoît Pirenne, ONC’s director of user engagement. “But ONC’s expertise in handling large data sets made it an ideal choice to stream wide-ranging, realtime weather information to the Games community and decision makers.”
ONC’s software team created an agile web interface for Environment Canada that streams the Games’ 30 different venues and 63 weather stations around southern Ontario. It operates on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The information is sourced automatically from fixed stations, vehicles and lake buoys.
Pirenne expects up to 1200 people a day will use the service. “We're thrilled to be a part of the Games by supporting everyone who needs to know immediate and updated information about the weather. So rain or shine, let the games begin.”