News and Events at the ESL

National Weather Service gets big computing boost

Event image

MIAMI (Reuters) - The U.S. National Weather Service is getting a quantum jump in computing power that will significantly improve its forecasting and storm tracking abilities to better protect the country from severe weather.

"This is a game changer," Louis Uccellini, who took over as director of the National Weather Service in February, told Reuters in an interview, calling it "the biggest increase in operational capacity that we've ever had."

The Weather Services' global and national weather prediction efforts have long been hampered by aging technology and a lack of computer power to support day-to-day operations. But Uccellini said that was all due to change through upgrades of its IBM system that will give it more than 25 times the computer power it has today.

Over the next two years, the results should be apparent through enhancements across the whole range of products and services the Weather Service produces, focusing on everything from routine weather to tornadoes and hurricanes to floods, droughts and blizzards. 

Published: May 16, 2013