The super-computer will be able to provide more detailed weather models, run more potential weather scenarios, improve localised forecasts and better predict severe weather
The Meteorological Office (Met Office) of the UK is working with Microsoft to build a super-computer for weather forecasting in the UK. The super-computer is expected to provide accurate forecasting of weather and a better understanding, they said.
The UK government in February 2020 had said that it will invest £1.2 billion in the project.
When completely built and running in summer 2022, it is expected to be one among top 25 supercomputers in the world. As computing improves, Microsoft plans to update the super-computer over the next decade.
“This partnership is an impressive public investment in the basic and applied sciences of weather and climate”, said Morgan O’Neill, assistant professor at Stanford University, who is independent of the project.
“Such a major investment in a state-of-the-art weather and climate prediction system by the UK is great news globally, and I look forward to the scientific advances that will follow”.
The Met Office said the technology of the super-computer would increase their understanding of the weather. Also, it will allow people to better plan activities, prepare for inclement weather and get a better understanding of climate change.
The super-computer will be able to provide more detailed weather models, run more potential weather scenarios, improve localised forecasts and better predict severe weather.
“Working together we will provide the highest quality weather and climate datasets and ever more accurate forecasts that enable decisions to allow people to stay safe and thrive”, said Penny Endersby, chief executive of the Met Office.
The super-computer would help the UK remain at the forefront of climate, said Clare Barclay, chief executive of Microsoft UK.
The Met Office did not reveal the exact location for the new super-computer, but said it would be located in the south of the UK. It will use Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing services and integrate Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cray supercomputers.
It will run on 100 per cent renewable energy and will have more than 1.5 million processor cores and more than 60 petaflops or 60 quadrillion (60,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.
That will, in theory, allow it to handle more data, more rapidly, and run it through simulations of the atmosphere more accurately.