The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has completed a nine-year, $180 million IBM supercomputer build-out for weather and climate prediction.
The two new systems, dubbed Stratus and Cirrus, will let NOAA run more complex models in an effort tol boost the nation’s watch and warning lead times for tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and winter storms.
The two supercomputers run as primary and backup in tandem, and are both based on IBM Power 575 Systems. The main Stratus supercomputer will process gigabytes of weather data each day, including temperature, wind, atmospheric pressure, and satellite and oceanographic data.
The computers are capable of making 69.7 trillion calculations per second. NOAA said that’s the equivalent of one person with a calculator working for three million years.