IT & Network Infrastructure : IBM 'Stratus' Supercomputer Is NOAA's Newest Storm Chaser

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2009-09-09 Print this article Print
IBM 'Stratus' Supercomputer Is NOAA's Newest Storm Chaser

IBM 'Stratus' Supercomputer Is NOAA's Newest Storm Chaser

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has completed the installation of its latest supercomputers, which will be used to help in forecasting weather and climate changes. The massive "Stratus" supercomputer and its backup, "Cirrus," will enable researchers to run more complex models in hopes of improving weather forecasting. NOAA also hopes to be able to increase the lead times for warnings about severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and winter storms, as well as air quality alerts. The supercomputers are based on IBM's Power 575 systems and are four times faster than the previous supercomputers NOAA was using. Stratus will be able to reach 69.7 teraflops, or trillions of calculations per second, enough to make it the 56th fastest system in the world, according to the Top500 list of the fastest supercomputers issued in June. Stratus will have billion of bytes of weather observations—such as temperatures, wind speed, precipitation and atmospheric pressure