The Trusted Leader in High Performance Computing


Earth Sciences

Weather Forecasting and Climate Research

Scientists endeavoring to understand and predict the Earth's weather and climate rely on increasingly complex computer models combined with a rapidly expanding database of current and historical observations from around the world. Continued refinements of forecasts and climate models require ever-greater numbers of observations, resulting in huge output files and consuming massive compute and storage resources.

The computational requirements for weather forecasting are driven by the need for higher resolution models for more accurate and extended forecasts. In addition, more physics and chemistry processes are included in the models so we can observe the very fine features of weather behavior. The operational weather centers must meet all the requirements of a mission-critical organization. They need to guarantee daily forecasts to perform in a narrow window of time. There is no margin for repeat runs-the center has to have latest data when starting each day's run. The large centers have dual systems and plenty of built-in redundancies to assure this 100% availability every day.

Systems dedicated to climate research do not have the stringent operational requirements facing weather centers. They do need to have solid software that can recover from a component failure since the runs are so long; and they do need to manage and analyze large amounts of data that was produced by multi-year simulations.

SGI solutions for weather enable researchers to:

  • More accurately predict weather at local, regional and global levels
  • Reliably manage operational weather forecasting centers
  • Handle operational data flows and archival requirements
  • Run larger, more complex environmental simulations in less time

SGI offers total systems solutions that include advanced well-engineered components for computations and data, with the software stack to glue it together and support the users' models.

SGI® ICE™ XA systems are uniquely suited for the simulation of weather and climate. With the robust and flexible configurability and integration with file systems, more detailed simulations can be performed with more science as part of the calculations. The system software stack and SGI's application engineers' expertise in optimizing weather and climate models enable new and improved physics and science to be modeled.