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Temperatures low enough to start Otepää artificial snow production

The Tehvandi Sport Center just outside the South Estonian town of Otepää has started producing artificial snow ahead of hosting a round of the Biathlon European Championships in late February.

The center was able to start production after air temperatures dropped below zero on Monday night, following a mild winter so far, which has jeopardized the competition, and other skiing events.

“Artificial snow production is on full capacity to make the most of the next few days’ below-zero temperatures,” said Aivar Nigol, chair of the organizing committee, via a press release.

The center has all of its snow cannons in operation, as well as additional rented ones, and it has ordered a special container for snow production from Poland, which also allows the production of artificial snow at temperatures above zero.

“The plan is to produce artificial snow with Tehvandi’s own, as well as rented, snow cannons, and temperatures above zero, to allow snow production using a container ordered from Poland,” Nigol said. The Polish equipment is capable of producing a reported 100-meters of snow per day.

The weather over the next four days is forecast to be suitable for artificial snow production (some actual snow has been forecast in the region this week as well), allowing the organizers to prepare at least the minimum trail needed for the event.

“We will continue our preparations and do everything we can to ensure that the competition can take place,” Nigol said.

This is the third time Estonia has hosted a round of the championships, which include individual distance, doubles, mixed, sprint and track stages. Spectators up to the age of 19 can watch for free with the event coinciding with schools’ half-term vacations.

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