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NOAA Unveils 2 Weather, Climate Supercomputers; Ken Graham Quoted

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the addition of two supercomputers to its Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System to increase computing and storage capacity as part of efforts to improve the delivery of climate and weather forecasts to the public.

The Dogwood system in Manassas, Virginia, and the Cactus platform in Phoenix are Hewlett Packard Enterprise-built Cray supercomputers that can operate at a speed of 12.1 petaflops each, NOAA said Tuesday.

The agency said the twin supercomputers will enable its environmental modeling center to implement new applications developed through the Unified Forecast System in the next five years, facilitate update to the U.S. Global Forecast System in the fall and pave the way for the launch of the Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System, which is expected to be operational in the hurricane season of 2023.

General Dynamics’ information technology business installed the two supercomputers under a contract awarded in February 2020. The two platforms replace the agency’s Cray and IBM supercomputers in Reston, Virginia, and Orlando, Florida. 

Researchers are developing new ensemble-based forecast models at record speed, and now we have the computing power needed to implement many of these substantial advancements to improve weather and climate prediction,” said Ken Graham, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.

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