Weather forecasts are an indispensable element in planning and mounting the sports competitions successfully. For this reason, in April 1989, in agreement with COOB’92, the National Institute of Meteorology prepared the Meteorological Services Plan (PAMOB). This included the creation of the Olympic Meteorology Centre, which was constituted with the resources of the Meteorology Centre of Catalonia and other human and material resources from the National Institute of Meteorology.
The unique nature of the service required for the Barcelona Games was conditioned by three factors: space, as the sports events would be held mainly in and around Barcelona, but also in other subsites which were quite far away; time, as there were to be competitions on 15 consecutive days during the daytime and mostly simultaneous, which called for a wide range of weather forecasts and a large variet y and frequency of messages, and lastly, the high degree of sensitivity of some of the Olympic sporting events — especially the outdoor ones and most particularly the yachting competitions — to the values of meteorological parameters and their minimum variations, which required a great degree of precision both in observations and forecasts and high reliability in the operation of the support system.
Before the Games, the meteorological service provided information through a set of climatological studies about the climatological conditions at the sites of the competitions, which was crucial to the mid and long term planning of the preparation of the competitors and the organisation.
During the Games the information was broken down into four groups according to the type and the channel of supply: climatological information through the AMIC system, for the Olympic Family; direct telephone information at the COOB’92 Main Operations Centre; meteorological and oceanographic information for competitors, judges and the yachting events organisers, supplied personally through monitors in real time and information about conditions in the air space in the Barcelona area supplied by the CECAJO (Olympic Games Air Control Centre) for the air security operation.
Much of the work of processing texts and transmitting bulletins was done by Olympic volunteers, who provided invaluable help from 7.30 to 20.00 every day. As far as the operation is concerned, we should mention the anxiety provoked by the frequent rain that fell in Catalonia just a few days before the Games.
(Text taken from the Official Report of the Barcelona ’92 Games)