New supercomputer for NOAA aims to improve forecasts

The National Weather Service has a new supercomputer with more than double the processing power of the previous version. The supercomputer, nicknamed “Tide”, is housed in Reston, VA and is capable of 213 trillion calculations per second – up from 90 trillion with the older computers. The new supercomputer will be utilized to provide more accurate forecasts further out in time, along with an enhanced hurricane model – just in time for the peak of the hurricane season which typically occurs in August and September.

“These improvements are just the beginning and build on our previous success. They lay the foundation for further computing enhancements and more accurate forecast models that are within reach,” said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “These upgrades are a game-changer for the entire public and private weather industry. In addition to the benefits to our own forecasters and products, we will provide our private sector partners with better information to empower them to enhance their services.”

As impressive as the new specs are on the upgraded supercomputer, the biggest improvement is expected by the summer of 2015 after funding kicks in for a supercomputer capable of 1,950 trillion calculations per second. That computer should allow NOAA to run an enhanced version of their primary short-medium range computer model – the Global Forecast System.

Click here to read the full press release.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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