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The Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games Experience

15. Closing Comments

During the lead-up years to the Games, many innovations and procedures, which were necessary for the teams to have equipment and staff in place, were implemented. There was a significant amount of testing required to assure optimal performance. Forecasters and briefers needed to be trained in the use of new hardware and software to ensure full utilization of Mesonet datasets, high-resolution numerical weather prediction and air quality model products that would be available to support the Games alerting program. This included contingency planning to determine and document alternate courses of action for the provision of services in the event of an outage of OSPC or either of the two briefing units. A series of five integration tests were conducted during an Intensive Operations Period to verify and validate that all instruments, workstations and staff were ready for the Games.

The Games provided an opportunity for ECCC to test next-generation monitoring strategies, prediction models, forecast methods, data acquisition processes and distribution applications. Long-standing working relationships with national and international agencies were renewed and strengthened. There was close cooperation between the research and operations branches within ECCC, which led to the creation of a unified dataset that included all monitoring, forecasts and models used during the Games. This dataset is secured and available for use by the international community.

The Games team overcame many challenges, some foreseen, some emerging as they advanced closer to the launch of the Games. Overall, the weather services program was a successful effort that has left ECCC with new tools and an understanding of how to better support “fit-for-purpose” services at a fine scale for any large event.

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