A new supercomputer at the Met Office has resulted in a claimed fourfold boost in the accuracy of its predictions.
The NEC SX-6 supercomputer first went online in March 2004 at the Met Office's computing centre in Exeter. It has since boosted forecast accuracy by 11 per cent with the introduction of the SX-8, compared to the average three per cent improvement per annum.
"We are world beating and intend to stay that way," declared Roger Hunt, chief operating officer at the Met Office.
"The improvements will continue as we produce more and more detailed forecasts in the future. We need to continually improve our forecasts to meet the growing expectations of the public and our other customers."
The Met Office's computer centre relied previously on Cray supercomputers to collate information from satellite imagery and weather stations around the world into coherent computer models.
By shifting to the NEC SX-6 the centre increased its computing power sixfold and then doubled it again with the recent introduction of the SX-8.
The centre now seems firmly wedded to NEC and received the first SX-8 supercomputer earlier this year, doubling its capacity earlier in the month by bringing more nodes online.
The computer centre is listed in the top 500 most powerful computing sites.
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