• Germany's news in English

Supercomputer to improve forecasting of lousy German weather

Shannon Smith · 20 Mar 2009, 14:57

Published: 20 Mar 2009 14:57 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The NEC SX-9, which went into operation at the German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach on Thursday, should give meteorologists access to highly-complex weather prediction models.

"Thanks to the enormous capacity of the integrated Ensemble [technology] in processing information, this new supercomputer can handle more physics at once, which makes it easier to predict storm cells, heavy rainfall, hail and strong winds than ever before," said Dr. Gerhard Steinhorst, head forecasting at DWD. "We can also use this information to improve the DWD's warning system."

With a capacity of up to 109 trillion multiplications per second, the supercomputer is one of the fastest vector processors in the world. By 2010, it should have improved upon its predecessor’s processing capacity by a factor of 45.

"Ensemble technology can construct as many as 20 parallel forecasts – rather than just one – each based off a slightly different set of starting conditions," DWD's Head of System Administration Henning Weber told The Local.

"The overall result enables meteorologists to more accurately determine the likelihood of a particular weather situation."

But anyone getting too excited about the new forecasting powerhouse should be reminded that it won't improve the often atrocious German weather likely to ruin your next weekend barbecue.

Story continues below…

"The focus with this machine is creating very, very precise weather forecasts for the next 18 hours, in turn allowing city officials to prepare to streets with salt or de-ice planes," explained Weber. "Three to five day forecasts are something we hope to improve upon in the future."

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

Shannon Smith (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd