NOAA’s Next Generation of Supercomputers Running at Record Speed

NOAA Computer Updgrades_90481

NOAA’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputer System is now running at record speed… with the capacity to process and analyze earth observations at quadrillions of calculations per second to support weather… water and climate forecast models.

This investment to advance the field of meteorology and improve global forecasts secures the U.S. reputation as a world leader in atmospheric and water prediction sciences and services.The computers are now running at 2.89 petaflops each for a new total of 5.78 petaflops of operational computing capacity… up from 776 teraflops of processing power last year.

The increase in supercomputing strength will allow NOAA to roll out a series operational model upgrades throughout 2016. For example:

  1. Upgrades to the High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model (HRRR) will help meteorologists predict the amount… timing and type of precipitation in winter storms and the timing location and structure severe thunderstorms.
  2. Implementation of the Weather Research and Forecasting Hydrologic Modeling System (WRF-Hydro) will expand the National Weather Service’s current water quantity forecasts at 3,600 locations to forecasts of flow… soil moisture… snow water equivalent… evapotranspiration… runoff and other parameters for 2.67 million river and stream locations across the country.
  3. Upgrades to the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF) will mark the first time NOAA models have had direct connections between the air… ocean and waves to improve forecasts of hurricane tracks and intensity.

The increase in supercomputing capacity comes via a $44.5 million investment using NOAA’s operational high performance computing contract with IBM.INFORMATION FROM NOAADo you have a weather question? Drop me a line at Also… follow me on Facebook at and Twitter at @LeeHaywood_WSAV.

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