Tuesday September 15, 2015

Swiss First to Tap GPUs to Improve National Weather Forecasts

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Three years ago, Hurricane Sandy battered New York City. Hundreds lost their lives. Damages were in the billions. Wherever you live, predicting the weather is a high-stakes game. Now, thanks to GPU-accelerated computing, the Swiss have made significant advancements in their ability to predict storms and other weather hazards with higher levels of accuracy. The Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss, is the first major national weather service to deploy a GPU-accelerated supercomputer to improve its daily weather forecasts.

Our forecast: They won’t be the last. Accurate weather forecasting requires vast amounts of computing performance. Unleashing that computing horsepowerآ—without sucking power grids dryآ—is an ideal fit for GPUs. The new system provides 40 times higher performance than the CPU-based system it’s replacing. It allows MeteoSwiss to develop weather models with more than two times higher resolutionآ—and at three times higher energy efficiency.