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NOAA Upgrades Weather Prediction Supercomputer Capacity

High-performance computer

NOAA Upgrades Weather Prediction Supercomputer Capacity

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Commerce have increased the capacity of the Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System by 20 percent, improving forecast model guidance and enabling advancements in weather prediction.

According to NOAA, WCOSS improvements allow the twin supercomputers to operate at 14.5 petaflops each and generate 29 quadrillion calculations per second. The development would also make room for upgrades to the U.S. Global Forecast System’s range and accuracy, the integration of a new Rapid Refresh Forecast System for forecast data enhancements, upgrades to the Global Ensemble Forecast System for aerosol detection and expansions in compute power and storage.

WCOSS was delivered by General Dynamics Information Technology under a potential 10-year $505 million contract issued in 2020. The supercomputer was implemented in June 2022 and has been receiving key updates, NOAA said Thursday.

WCOSS comprises two Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cray supercomputers located in Manassas, Virginia, and Phoenix, Arizona. They enable GFS, the Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System, and the Environmental Modeling Center.

The supercomputer replaced the Cray and IBM supercomputers in Reston, Virginia, and Orlando, Florida.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: Department of Commerce federal civilian General Dynamics Information Technology high-performance computing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System weather forecasting capability