Today Cray announced a $36 million contract to upgrade and expand the Cray XC supercomputers and Cray Sonexion storage system at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). When the project is completed, the enhanced systems will allow the world-class numerical weather prediction and research center to continue to drive improvements in its highly-complex models to provide more accurate weather forecasts.
Today NOAA reported a nearly four-fold increase in computing capacity to innovate U.S. forecasting in 2016. NOAA’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputer System is now running at record speed, with the capacity to process and analyze earth observations at quadrillions of calculations per second to support weather, water and climate forecast models. This investment to advance the field of meteorology and improve global forecasts secures the U.S. reputation as a world leader in atmospheric and water prediction sciences and services.
Data accumulation is just one of the challenges facing today weather and climatology researchers and scientists. To understand and predict Earth’s weather and climate, they rely on increasingly complex computer models and simulations based on a constantly growing body of data from around the globe. “It turns out that in today’s HPC technology, the moving of data in and out of the processing units is more demanding in time than the computations performed. To be effective, systems working with weather forecasting and climate modeling require high memory bandwidth and fast interconnect across the system, as well as a robust parallel file system.”
Thomas Schulthess from CSCS presented this talk at the Nvidia booth at SC15. “On October 1, 2015 “Piz Kesch”, a Cray CS-Storm system with NVIDIA K80 GPUs became operational at CSCS on behalf of MeteoSwiss. In this talk, we will discuss the hardware-software co-design project behind this most cost and energy efficient system for numerical weather prediction.”
The computational requirements for weather forecasting are driven by the need for higher resolution models for more accurate and extended forecasts. In addition, more physics and chemistry processes are included in the models so we can observe the very fine features of weather behavior. These models operate on 3D grids that encompass the globe. The closer the points on the grid are to each other, the more accurate the results.
In the pantheon of HPC grand challenges, weather forecasting and long term climate simulation rank right up there with the most complex and computationally demanding problems in astrophysics, aeronautics, fusion power, exotic materials, and earthquake prediction, to name just a few. This special reports looks at how HPC takes on the challenge of global weather forecasting and climate research.
“Modern Numerical Weather prediction (NWP) can now use many thousands of cores in a single run of the application. By using modern CPUs such as the Intel Xeon processors and the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, tremendous performance and efficiency can be obtained. It is important to remember that many of the applications are written in Fortran and many of the contributors are domain experts, not parallel programming gurus.”
Today Altair announced that its PBS Professional has been chosen to manage workloads for the new Cray supercomputer to be installed at the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Australia’s national weather, climate and water agency.
Today Cray announced that the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) has installed a Cray CS-Storm cluster supercomputer to power the operational numerical weather forecasts run by the Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss). This is the first time a GPU-accelerated supercomputer has been used to run production numerical weather models for a major national weather service.
Today Cray announced the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia has awarded the Company a contract worth up to $53 million to provide a Cray XC40 supercomputer and a Cray Sonexion 2000 storage system. This further strengthens Cray’s leadership position in the global operational weather and climate community, as an increasing number of the world’s leading centers rely on Cray supercomputers to run their complex meteorological and mission critical models.