HPE to Build Weather Supercomputer for Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and The Netherlands

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Building on its UK Met Office win, one of the largest supercomputer deals of the past year, Hewlett Packard Enterprise today announced that it is building a supercomputer for the United Weather Centres – West (UWC-West), a collaboration between the Danish Meteorological InstituteIcelandic Met OfficeMet Éireann, Ireland’s national weather service, and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute to advance weather forecasting for the four nations.

The system is a new, non-EX HPE Cray supercomputer that leverages Apollo with Slingshot, Clusterstor and the HPE Cray Programming Environment. Other details, including which CPUs it will use, the company said it’s not ready to disclose.

The system is scheduled for installation in Q2 2022 and operational by early 2023 and will support a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model called HARMONIE-AROME, which has been developed under the HIRLAM-ACCORD collaboration, a consortium of 26 national meteorological services in Europe and North Africa aimed at improving short-range weather predictions. The system will be located in an Icelandic Met Office data center facility and powered by geothermal renewable energy.

Comprised of two systems, one part of the supercomputer will be dedicated to operational weather forecasting and another for broader weather and climate research, helping to harness complex atmospheric and oceanic data that helps model and simulate weather at a higher resolution, according to HPE.

“Our countries have a long history of working together in weather forecasting – often the weather experienced in Ireland or Iceland today is the same weather experienced in Denmark and The Netherlands tomorrow,” said Marianne Thyrring, the UWC-West Chair “The UWC-West supercomputer is the first step in a powerful collaboration between weather services in Europe, and it is vital that we continue working closer together to improve our weather forecasts and understanding of how climate change will impact our countries.”

UWC-West’s system will include HPE HPC technologies such as the Slingshot Ethernet fabric for congestion control; Cray ClusterStor E1000 data storage and the HPE Data Management Framework; Performance Cluster Management and the HPE Cray Programming Environment.

“As European nations continue to face challenges with new, dynamic weather patterns caused by climate change, weather forecasters will need powerful high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to evolve weather models and simulate vast amounts of complex data to unlock accurate, real-time forecasts,” said Bill Mannel, vice president and general manager, HPC, at HPE. “We are pleased to see Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and The Netherlands take action and join forces in the United Weather Centres- West (UWC –West) to strengthen weather services in Europe. We are honored to have been selected to design their new supercomputer, using end-to-end HPC technologies, and support their multi-national mission for advancing weather forecasting.”