Met Office gets £30 million supercomputer

The IBM system P supercomputer will boost the Met Office's processing power.


The Met Office has unveiled its shiny new supercomputer, which it said will help improve weather forecasting for the nation.

The new Power6 system P computer from IBM features over a petaflop of power, ranking it in the top 20 for high performance computers around the world. The last system the Met Office had was from NEC, and featured 5.4 teraflops of processing power meaning the new system is 27 times as powerful.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Speaking to IT PRO, the Met Office's chief technology officer Dr Stephen Foreman explained that the higher processing power would let forecasters localise their predictions. At the moment, they can focus as close as a county; with the new IBM, they'll have the necessary data to predict at a city or district level. "It will provide that much more local detail," he said.

"It gives us the opportunity to put more detail and accuracy into the forecasts," Dr Foreman said. "It's not just about better day to day, but it will also help us prepare for severe weather events, like the floods a couple years ago."

While the supercomputer was unveiled this week, it's not up and running yet. Data transfer will take until August, while improvements in weather forecasts will be noticeable to the public this winter.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The computer will also help the Met Office's research into climate change. "It gives us the opportunity to move us from asking whether climate change is taking place which it is to how it will affect us," Dr Foreman explained.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now


artificial intelligence (AI)

IBM unveils AI-powered inventory control system

2 Jul 2020
cloud computing

Mercedes heads to the cloud as Daimler expands IBM agreement

2 Jul 2020
cyber security

Remote employees pose a security risk, says IBM Security

22 Jun 2020

Watson Works helps employers make informed decisions about workplace re-entry

18 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Google Android

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data

7 Jul 2020

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020