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A new supercomputer to battle Australia’s unpredictable weather

A new supercomputer is being purchased in the fight against extreme weather conditions in Australia. Purchased by the Bureau of Meteorology, it will be able to forecast tiny details within weather events such as changes in wind direction and tracking cyclone paths. All of which can aid the Australian emergency services.

The overall cost has not been disclosed though funded has already been allocated in the budget. The parliamentary secretary to the minister for the environment ,Simon Birmingham, informed the Senate estimate committee that it is expected to cost “many, many tens of millions of dollars”.
The computer will transmit 10,000 times faster than an average broadband and is thought to be the equivalent of 25,000 desktop computers.

All of this will allow the bureau to more accurately predict weather patterns with models being produced every hour as opposed to the current 6 hours and they will be able to design models for particular weather events.  “So whether we’ve got cyclones, floods, fires, thunderstorms or volcanic ash events to the north happening, we’ll be able to set the model to run a specialised, on-demand forecast for emergency services,” BOM director of meteorology Rob Vertessy told the committee.

The new computer will be kept in a  secure data centre  with “very high” physical and energy security. The committee were told that “accurate weather forecasting” is essential to sectors that are environmentally sensitive as they produce 3.4% of the nation’s GDP and is responsible for the safe transport of 1.7 million passengers a week.


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