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Super Bowl brings fans, parties, and forecasters
Katie Valentine

Super Bowl brings fans, parties, and forecasters

When Super Bowl LVI kicks off at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on February 13, a nearby command center operated by emergency managers will include experts from NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS).  These meteorologists will monitor a variety of conditions in real time. NOAA has a range of expertise and tools to provide decision support to local and national officials to ensure the safety of the players, fans and community before and during the big game.

NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory in College Park, Maryland supports the local partners response team by performing frequent modeling runs to predict atmospheric conditions around the Los Angeles basin. Using a tool called HYSPLIT, weather forecasters can model atmospheric conditions in order to plan, advise and respond to emergency situations such as fires, gas leaks, or other releases of airborne substances. In addition to weather forecasting, NOAA meteorologists  help to prepare the event managers to respond to a potential incident, such as major fires or chemical leaks.  

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The operations center for Super Bowl LVI, several days before Game Day. Image Credit: NOAA

In preparation for Super Bowl LVI, NOAA’s Air Resources Lab not only increased the frequency of HYSPLIT simulations, but also added more frequent runs and additional sites around Los Angeles for localized forecasts.  These updates were requested by the NWS Los Angeles office, which is coordinating NOAA’s support for the local command center. 

"By automating HYSPLIT runs for multiple locations in Los Angeles during this critical weekend of Super Bowl activities, NWS Los Angeles staff are more prepared for any emergency incident where plume modeling would immediately be utilized,” said Eric Boldt, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Weather Forecast Office Los Angeles. “The effort allows response teams to prioritize the most urgent needs. It also gives deployed personnel more time to focus on important decision support services and public messaging for the expected heat event in the area.”   

The NWS Los Angeles office sought assistance from NWS offices in San Diego, Las Vegas, Palmdale, and Phoenix to provide not only game day weather forecasts, but also aviation weather forecasts for inbound fans.  It’s been a hot week in Los Angeles and the NWS is predicting above average temperatures on Sunday.  Players and fans are advised to keep hydrated and seek shade and air conditioning if needed.  

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