Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More Power!

NOAA announced on January 5, 2015, that it will increase it's computing power by a factor of ten. What does that mean? More accurate weather forecasts! 
Louis Uccellini, the director of the National Weather Service said, 
"We continue to make significant, critical investments in our supercomputers and observational platforms. By increasing our overall capacity, we'll be able to process quadrillions of calculations per second that all feed into our forecasts and predictions. This boost in processing power is essential as we work to improve our numerical prediction models for more accurate and consistent forecasts required to build a Weather Ready Nation." 

One major change taking place now is an increased resolution in the GFS model. GFS is the Global Forecast System that creates weather forecasts for the entire world. The resolution of this model will increase from 27 km to 13 km, and run for 10 days with the lower resolution model at 33 km to run for days 11 through 16. This will provide and incredible improvement to our weather forecasts. 

Here is a comparison of the old GFS with coarse resolution (0.5 degrees) and the new GFS with higher resolution (0.25 degrees). This means the computer model will now make forecasts for twice as many points as before. Hopefully this leads to more accurate forecasts since more smaller features will be resolved.

The article can be found here: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/20150105_supercomputer.html
As well as a link to Cliff Mass's Blog here:

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