Met Office confirm £1.2 billion weather forcasting supercomputer

Met Office confirm £1.2 billion weather forcasting supercomputer


The UK Met Office is set to upgrade their current forecasting supercomputer to one that is 6x more powerful (with a further 3x upgrade after 5 years). The total cost for the new system is £1.2 billion, which includes operating costs over the 10 year lifespan. The upgrade in performance will allow weather forecasting resolution down to 100m², a huge improvement on the 1500m² grid (outside London) that the current computer can compute.

This improvement in forecasting will have wide-ranging implications, from improvements in climate science research to improving the UKs resilience to a changing climate. The additional power will also mean that more complex climate models can run, improving the forecasting accuracy even further. A current 5 day forecast is now as accurate as a 1 day forecast from 1980, which puts the model improvements in to perspective.

The Met Office provided this infographic to illustrate the envisaged improvements:

01202-supercomputer-benefits-tiles-v8-01_web.jpg

£1.2 billion investment has been confirmed for a state-of-the-art supercomputer to improve severe weather and climate forecasting,

Data from the supercomputer will be used to inform Government policy as part of leading the global fight against climate change and meeting net zero emission targets.

Predicting severe weather and the impacts of climate change will be faster and more accurate than ever before, thanks to confirmation of £1.2 billion government funding to develop a state-of-the-art supercomputer, Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma announced today (17 February 2020).

The full press release can be read here:

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Ian Cunningham
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