fortelling the future

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AT THE 1980 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
To most of us watching the Winter Olympics, the focus is on the thrill of the competition. What one can’t see from the comfort of one’s living room is that there is so much going on behind the scenes.

In 1980, there was a small team of meteorologists working tirelessly to give accurate and timely weather warnings and forecasts to ensure a safe and successful Olympic Winter Games for Lake Placid. The meteorologists relied on observations from weather stations installed at all of the Olympic venues and from stations across North America.


Four men wearing blue snowsuits in Lake Placid, NY


They provided frequent weather information to coaches, athletes, venue managers, law enforcement, media, travelers, and spectators.

Explore how the National Weather Service Olympic Support Unit’s weather forecasts and warnings impacted everyone at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.

Visitors can go on location and report a weather forecast, make weather observations by viewing live radar data and other information from NOAA compiled from the Atmospheric Science Research Center at Whiteface Mountain, listen to recordings of weather warnings and advisories, and see on display weather equipment used during the Games.


Weather equipment display at Lake Placid Olympic Museum


The exhibit is a partnership between the National Ocean Service’s Coast Survey Development Laboratory, the National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Office in Burlington, Vermont, and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. The project is funded by NOAA Heritage Program and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

The Lake Placid Olympic Museum is located at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, New York. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Person Skiing in Heavy Snow at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games
Heavy Snow at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games
Giving the Weather Report at Lake Placid Olympic Museum
Giving the Weather Report
Man Flying Through The Air and Heavy Winds at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games
Heavy Winds at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games
Explaining the NOAA exhibit at The Lake Placid Olympic Museum
Explaining the NOAA exhibit