What’s worse than rain on your wedding day or on your parade? Rain during your outdoor athletic event at the Olympics.
Japanese researchers are scrambling to test new technology that would allow them to detect sudden torrential downpours known as “guerrilla rainstorms” 30 minutes before they start. They hope to have the radars ready for the 2020 Olympics. Sudden rainstorms, which are common to Tokyo during the summer, have the potential to disrupt many of the outdoor sporting events. Early warning wouldn’t stop that, but it would give organizers a chance to cover up fields and get athletes out of the rain.
In addition to torrential downpours, Tokyo organizers are also worried about scorching temperatures disrupting the Games, endangering the well-being of both athletes and spectators. Tokyo, like many other cities around the world, experienced record high temperatures last summer, and 96 people in Japan died of heatstroke.