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New Supercomputers Promise Better Weather Predictions

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently began operating two new supercomputers designed to improve weather forecasting. The two identical Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing Systems are located in Reston, Virginia, and Orlando, Florida. Each is a 213-teraflops, Linux-based system leased by the government from IBM at a cost of about $20 million a year. NOAA expects this to improve the accuracy of its forecasts. In particular the resolution of its hurricane forecasts, which track hurricanes’ paths, to improve from 27 to 13 kilometers. The comparable European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting model, which experts say predicted the path of 2012’s catastrophic Hurricane Sandy better than the US system, has a 16-kilometer resolution. (SlashDot)(Computerworld)(NextGov)

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