The chance of rain during the opening ceremony is slimmer than reported earlier, but thunderstorms, high temperatures and muggy skies still pose a threat to the Beijing Olympics.
An analysis of weather data from 1975 to 2007 from the Haidian district observatory, the closest to the “Bird’s Nest” where the opening ceremony will be held, shows the chance of rain spoiling the show is 41 percent, said Qiao Lin, chief forecaster of China Meteorological Administration (CMA) Tuesday.
An earlier analysis, based on the data from the entire city, suggested there was a 47-50 chance of rain on Aug 8.
Qiao held out further hope for a perfect opening day for the Games, saying that even if it rains, it will be light.
But inclement weather could still play spoilsport during the 17-day Games, said Chen Zhenlin, deputy director of CMA’s forecasting service and disaster mitigation department.
“Thunderstorms, heavy rain, high temperatures, muggy skies and even hailstorms could be a problem,” said Chen, who is also director of the Olympic Weather Service Center.
Beijing has made every possible effort to prevent bad weather from interrupting the Games. It even rescheduled it from July 25-Aug 10 to Aug 8-24 to avoid the rainy season.