Sci/Tech

Highest temps yet forecast for Sochi Games Friday

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The warm temperatures at the Sochi Winter Olympics are forecast to get even warmer Friday.

Not a single Olympic site is expected to even approach freezing at any point during the day, and the sun is likely to shine. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told The Associated Press that the weather is not posing a "major risk" to the games, since organizers have stored spare snow. And past Winter Games have also seen warm-weather problems.

But the temperatures in Sochi have forced a schedule adjustment for Friday, with the downhill portion of the men's super-combined pushed up an hour, before the sun has time to warm up the snow. The unseasonable warm weather is a result of a strong ridge of high pressure that's connected to an unusual and persistent kink in the jet stream. That kink has also triggered bizarre storms in Britain, warmth in the Arctic, sharp cold in the eastern United States and drought in California, said Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Mann and Rutgers professor Jennifer Francis.

The jet stream is a river of air that normally runs more west-to-east across the top of the globe, from the northern U.S. to Scandinavia, and is intricately connected to weather patterns. Here's what Friday's daytime temperature forecast looks like at various Olympic sites, according to organizers:

— Coastal cluster, site of skating venues: 9-17 degrees C (48-63 F) — Rosa Khutor Alpine Center: 8-13 C (46-55 F) — Laura Cross Country and biathlon site: 10-14 C (50-57 F) — Rosa Khutor Extreme Park: 8-14 C (46-57 F)

— Gorki Ski Jumping Center: 9-16 C (48-61 F) — Sanki Sliding Center: 8-16 C (46-61 F)

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