Russia: Sochi will have enough snow for Olympics

Sochi will have enough snow for the Winter Olympics in February,

Russia’s chief weather forecaster vowed Friday.

Concerns about a snowless Olympics were raised after two test

events in Sochi had to be cancelled last February because of a lack

of snow or rainy weather. The resort city on the Black Sea is the

only sub-tropical region of Russia.

Organizers, however, worked out a Plan B, which included storing

450,000 cubic meters of last year’s snow on the slopes through

summer and installing what they described as Europe’s biggest

snow-making system.

But Roman Vilfand, director of the Russian Meteorological

Office, said Friday the organizers will probably not need the extra

snow because data shows that Sochi will have enough natural

snow.

The snow cover now in the mountains above Sochi is already 52

centimeters (20 inches), unusually high for this time of year,

Vilfand told the Itar-TASS news agency.

He insisted the snow base will stay even if January is warm and

rainy.

”For the snow cover this deep, this isn’t a problem,” he

said.

The 2014 Winter Olympics, which runs Feb. 7-23, will hold indoor

events like skating and ice hockey in the coastal city of Sochi

while outdoor sports such as skiing will be held in the mountains

dozens of kilometers (miles) away from the coast.