The 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia are taking place in some of the warmest conditions ever for a Winter Olympic event, and the city prepared for competition in above-freezing temperatures by hoarding about 25 million cubic feet of snow over the last two winters.

A report released this week by NOAA indicated that Sochi is among the warmest cities to host an Olympic Games, with average overnight low temperatures of 39°F (4°C) on average in February, and average daytime highs of 50°F (10°C).

On Monday, the daytime high temperature in Sochi was 61°F (16°C), and by Friday the high is expected to be 67°F (19°C).

Warm winter temperatures in Sochi, which lies along the east coast of the Black Sea, highlight the trouble with hosting a Winter Games at such a low latitude. But the warm weather there has also prompted a cadre of athletes, led by US cross county skier Andrew Newell, to speak out against climate change.

"As a result of this heightened awareness of climate change, many of us who spend our lives in the snow are more aware of its effects and have changed our lifestyles to be respectful of the health of the environment," Newell said in an open letter that has now garnered the signatures of more than 100 Olympians.

"This year alone, nearly half of the FIS cross country World Cup international competitions have taken place on artificial snow," Newell said. 

"Even last year in Sochi, several pre Olympic skiing and snowboarding events had to be canceled because of poor conditions, something that has been a consistent problem both in Central Europe and Scandinavia," Newell wrote, adding that snow conditions are becoming more inconsistent and erratic and the years go by.

"Our climate is changing and we are losing our winters," the three-time Olympian said.

To corroborate his point, it has been reported that Sochi city officials, worried that the region's winter snow might melt into slush, have tapped into its vast snow reserves to deliver fresh power to the slopes.

As Quartz reports: "Around 710,000 cubic meters (25 million cubic feet) of snow have been hoarded near the skiing and snowboarding venues, shielded from the elements by thick reflective blanketsdesigned to keep the powder intact. ... At 400-600 kilograms per cubic meter, we're looking at a mid-range guess of 355,000 tonnes (391,000 tons) of the white stuff."

The emergency snow is reportedly used as a base layer, upon which artificial snow is sprayed.

Sochi is not alone as a warm Winter Olympic venue. In 2010, just before the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada experienced its warmest January on record, according to NOAA.

With global temperatures expected to rise by 2°C by the end of the century, the number of suitable locations to host international winter sporting events will decrease.

"Warming of this magnitude will cause a further decrease in Northern Hemisphere snow cover, likely eliminating many potential host locations that were climatically suitable in the past," NOAA said.