Friday 03 December 2021 - 2:06:40 am

National Centre of Meteorology deploys new supercomputer to advance weather forecasting


ABU DHABI, 18th October, 2021 (WAM) -- The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has launched a new supercomputer built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise to advance weather forecasting and overall climate research.

The supercomputer, named "Atmosphere", uses the HPE Cray EX system, an end-to-end high-performance computing (HPC) liquid-cooled platform customised to deliver advanced performance across computing, accelerated computing, software, storage and networking.

The combined technologies help the NCM’s researchers improve modelling, simulation, artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities to process complex data, increase accuracy, and predict weather events faster.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director-General of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), said, "At the NCM, we are dedicated to providing the UAE with operational weather forecasting to provide real-time forecasts and alerts that inform local entities and citizens, and most importantly, help ensure safety. We are also committed to gaining a deeper understanding of the climate and its complex patterns, and to developing innovative technologies that can increase sustainability."

Al Mandous added, "By hosting this state-of-the-art supercomputer, the UAE is now the first country to operate the most powerful liquid-cooled system, based on the HPE Cray EX, for national weather centres across the Middle East and Africa."

Bill Mannel, Vice President and General Manager, High Performance Computing, HPE, said, "HPE-powered supercomputers support the majority of the world’s weather forecasting needs, whether it is to improve the predictability of a hurricane’s landfall or to anticipate the spread and impact of wildfires. World-leading organisations such as the NCM apply the power of supercomputing to gain insights on weather and climate that are critical to decision-making and ensuring local and national safety."

Ahmad Al Khallafi, Managing Director at HPE UAE, said, "With our latest development with the NCM, HPE furthers its commitment to the UAE and its people by delivering an innovative yet sustainable system that supports NCM with weather forecasting faster than ever."

To support the UAE’s weather forecasting needs, NCM uses numerical weather prediction modelling software, such as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model and Consortium for Small-scale Modelling (COSMO). They leverage physics and dynamics-based models of the atmosphere and oceans to simulate and predict weather conditions.

With the new supercomputer, which will deliver faster performance than NCM’s existing system, the runtime of simulations running on these models will decrease by up to 200 percent on the WRF and up to 300 percent on COSMO, significantly speeding time-to-insight on weather predictions.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Amjad Saleh