Game Day Also Calls for Meteorology Skills

February 10, 2023American Football isolated on white, with reflection.

Athletes and coaches aren’t the only ones who prepare for game day: Meteorologists and weather forecasters also spend significant time rehearsing and practicing. When Super Bowl LVII kicks off on Sunday, February 12, 2023, a number of emergency management centers around Glendale, Arizona, will support the event with NOAA meteorologists from the Weather Forecasting Office in Phoenix, using tools such as ARL’s HYSPLIT.

NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) in College Park, Maryland supports the local response team efforts for special events such as the Super Bowl by performing frequent HYSPLIT modeling runs to predict atmospheric conditions around the event. NOAA meteorologists help the event managers prepare for, and respond to, any potential atmospheric release of an airborne substance. HYSPLIT is used to model nearby atmospheric conditions in order to plan, advise and respond to emergency situations such as fires, gas leaks, or other releases of airborne substances.

In preparation for Super Bowl LVI in 2022, NOAA’s Air Resources Lab not only increased the frequency of HYSPLIT simulations, but also added additional sites. The outcome was successful and is being repeated this year. For this year’s game day in Phoenix, automated HYSPLIT runs are set up for several locations in the area, which are updated hourly and incorporate HRRR meteorology.

The weather forecast for game day currently calls for partly cloudy conditions in the mid 60’s with a slight chance of showers. Further updates can be found at the Phoenix WFO page. Nearby, the Phoenix Open golf tournament is also being held the same weekend, so inbound traffic and tourism is expected to be heavy.

HYSPLIT is available on a 24/7 basis as a tool to alert communities and first responders across the nation to hazards to allow for both the safe evacuation of people from areas that could be impacted by conditions that are threatening to human life, and also allow first responders to know where to deploy critical mitigation resources in a timely fashion. HYSPLIT is employed in major public events from sporting events to parades and the Presidential Inauguration; and is always available to be called upon at a moment’s notice for emergencies such as a train derailment or large industrial fire.