Weather Service Triples Computer Capacity


Weather Service Triples Computer Capacity




Published: February 10, 2005


Filed at 5:53 p.m. ET


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Weather Service has tripled its computer

capacity in an effort to get ahead of the weather by crunching numbers

faster than ever.


Millions of weather measurements are fed into computers every day and

run through programs called weather models that use complex formulas to

calculate the weather and how it is likely to change.


With increased computing speed, those models can be run more quickly and

can use more data to improve forecasting.


``Literally, we are going from making 450 billion calculations per

second to 1.3 trillion calculations per second,'' David L. Johnson,

director of the NOAA National Weather Service, said in a statement Thursday.


Louis W. Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Centers for

Environmental Prediction, said the increase in computing power means the

agency will be able to run higher resolution models with more

sophisticated applied physics and use these models in the prediction of

hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and winter storms.


``The advanced computers are critical to advancing NOAA's ability to

make ever-increasingly accurate weather forecasts and climate

outlooks,'' he said.


The new supercomputers are part of a $180 million, nine-year contract

with IBM.

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