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Weather just got a lot more accurate after a big supercomputer upgrade

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has added two new supercomputers that bring massive upgrades.

@JakConnorTT
Published Jun 29, 2022 1:36 AM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Jul 27 2022 3:51 AM CDT

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just replaced two outdated supercomputers with new supercomputers that will bring massive upgrades to weather forecasting.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced back in 2020 that it would be replacing some of its older, now-outdated supercomputers that are used to run weather forecasts and predict patterns. NOAA has now replaced the older models, which were Cry and IBM supercomputers located in Reston, Virginia, Florida, and Orlando - with two Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cray supercomputers.

These two supercomputers come with 2,560 AMD Epyc Rome 64-core 7742 server CPUs that collectively provide 327,680 cores that are capable of operating up to 12.1 petaflops. This new setup is approximately three times faster than what NOAA was previously using, and with the new upgraded power, the agency believes it will be able to provide more accurate and detailed weather forecasts to the public. Notably, the two new NOAA supercomputer systems are called Dogwood and Cactus, and rank as the 49th and 50th fastest supercomputers in the world.

"Accurate weather and climate predictions are critical to informing public safety, supporting local economies, and addressing the threat of climate change. Through strategic and sustained investments, the U.S. is reclaiming a global top spot in high-performance computing to provide more accurate and timely climate forecasts to the public," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.

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With the new computing power, NOAA researchers will be able to generate much higher resolution models of the weather that can then be used to predict undiscovered weather patterns, anomalies, thunderstorms, and events. Being able to process and interpret a larger pool of data at a greater speed will also mean that officials will be notify areas of a coming weather event much faster than there were able to previously.

"More computing power will enable NOAA to provide the public with more detailed weather forecasts further in advance. Today's supercomputer implementation is the culmination of years of hard work by incredible teams across NOAA - everyone should be proud of this accomplishment," said NOAA Administrator, Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.

In other news related to upgrades, a Mars spacecraft has received a Windows 98 upgrade that will make it five times better than it was previously. The upgrade will allow the spacecraft to scan larger portions of the martian landscape, keep the spacecraft on for five times longer, while also improving signal reception and onboard data processing.

Read more: Mars spacecraft gets Windows 98 upgrade that makes it 5x better

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NEWS SOURCES:techspot.com, noaa.gov

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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