LAHORE: The US government’s weather forecast and climate monitoring agency on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s newest supercomputers for better forecasts and warnings to support public safety and the national economy.

The new supercomputers, first announced in February 2020 by the National Ocea­nic and Atmospheric Admin­istration (NOAA), provide a significant upgrade to computing capacity, storage space and interconnect speed of America’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System.

“More computing power will enable NOAA to provide the public with more detailed weather forecasts further in advance,” said the agency’s administrator, Dr Rick Spinrad.

Enhanced computing and storage capacity will allow NOAA to deploy higher-resolution models to better capture small-scale features like severe thunderstorms, more realistic model physics to better capture the formation of clouds and precipitation, and a larger number of individual model simulations to better quantify model certainty.

Each of the twin Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cray supercomputers, called Dogwood and Cactus, operates at a speed of 12.1 petaflops, three times faster than NOAA’s former system.

Coupled with the agency’s research and development supercomputers in West Virginia, Tennessee, Missis­sippi and Colorado, the supercomputing capacity supporting NOAA’s new operational prediction and research is now 42 petaflops.

According to General Dynamics Information Tech­nology that was awarded the contract for the computers, Dogwood and Cactus are currently ranked as the 49th and 50th fastest computers in the world by TOP500.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2022

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