Supercomputer For Weather Prediction

By on 07/11/2014 | Updated on 24/09/2020
The Met Office supercomputer - a small part of it.

With the increasing drive for geographic-based data, the British Met Office (Meteorological Office) is launching a new supercomputer. The aim is to gain much more detailed information on the current and future weather while tying this to precise locations. The outcome should be less disruption to everything from traffic to business and a substantial saving for the nation’s economy.

The supercomputer will start its operational phase in September 2015, with full capacity being reached in 2017. It does justify the ‘supercomputer’ tag. It will weigh 140 tonnes and will be able to compute 16,000 trillion calculations every second. It will be 13 times more powerful than the current Met Office system and is getting a £97 million investment from the British government.

The Met Office call the supercomputer ‘world leading’ and it will have two major advantages. It will be able to use high-resolution models so that forecasting can be more accurate for pinpointing, for example, the risk and timing of fog over airports.

Secondly it will be able to forecast more accurately further out, so that winter weather or heatwaves can be more precisely seen and warned of. It is anticipated that the results should deliver £2 billion of socio-economic benefit to the UK but clearly any country trading or working with the UK will also gain the benefits.

It will be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world and will be based at the Met Office and Exeter Science Park in the South West of England.


About Graham Scott

Graham is an experienced editor and publisher and an award-winning writer. He has travelled extensively and is interested in world cultures.

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