Met Office Inks GBP33 Million Deal For IBM Petaflop Supercomputer

UK’s weather forecasting department, Met Office, has penned a GBP33 million contract with IBM, for a new supercomputer that would help the weather forecaster in providing the comprehensive details of the weather conditions to its users.

System P supercomputer- which is able to run at a maximum speed of 125 trillion points operations per second- is said to be the second fastest computer of UK, after the European Centre’s Medium-Range Weather Forecasts supercomputer.

The supercomputer would have 13 terabytes of memory, with 550 terabytes of disc storage.

The two firms have entered into a five year contract, which includes an upgrade in 2011 that would enhance the operating speed to one quadrillion floating points operations per second (Ed : Let's hope that their forecasts becomes more accurate).

The system is said to be 30 times more powerful than the existing system at Met Office, which would help in providing multiple forecasts simultaneously; moreover, it would also provide forecasts of low-probability, high-effect weather episodes.

Met Office’s chief executive John Hirst stated that the new supercomputer is a crucial step in achieving Met Office’s strategic targets of forecasting and researching weather events, in a scenario when the turbulent impacts of global warming are quite apparent.