IBM has today announced, via an official press statement, that it has signed up new partners to further improve on futuristic global weather prediction models with the tactical use of its supercomputing prowess. The said solution has been scheduled to be delivered at the end of this very year.

To make this ambitious project come to life, Big Blue has decided to push forth its own subsidiary, The Weather Company to partner with the government-run organizations — UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research), and NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research). The said centers are solely focused on research initiatives involving the improvement of atmosphere and Earth’s geospace systems. This time, however, they’ll be developing prediction models for a global scale rather than a regional one.

All the aforementioned organizations will be working together to develop the weather models using IBM Power Systems and OpenPOWER supercomputing technologies. This solution will be optimized to run on IBM’s next-generation POWER9 based systems.

Speaking about this significant initiative, Mary Glackin, head of weather science and operations for The Weather Company

As advocates for science, we embrace strong public-private collaborations that understand the value science brings to society, such as our continued efforts with UCAR to advance atmospheric and computational sciences.

The partnership will result in the development of cutting-edge prediction models that’ll be an amalgamation of IBM’s high-performance computers, weather data from The Weather Company and NCAR’s community weather model. This would result in the timely creation of ‘rapidly-updating, storm-scale models’ capable of predicting weather patterns down to regional-scale.

This means the weather models designed under this collaboration will even be capable of predicting events, such as snowstorms and hurricanes, along with a sudden change in weather conditions that may have been induced due to small-scale phenomena, such as thunderstorms.

UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi, on the other hand, comments on this major private-public partnership as under:

This aims to advance weather prediction and generate significant benefits for businesses making critical decisions based on weather forecasts. We are gratified that taxpayer investments in the development of weather models are now helping U.S. industries compete in the global marketplace.

The software giant will first work with the NCAR to adapt its Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) community model and efficiently make the same run on its next-gen supercomputers. They will then improve on the existing regional-scale models to eliminate even some minor inefficiencies and translate it into a global project. The enormity of this model requires improved accuracy and efficiency. It is what Big Blue and partners will be gunning for to predict weather efficiently in real-time, at scale.

The said weather prediction model will be immensely helpful for the community as it can warn them of intense weather condition changes ahead of time, so they can protect themselves and seek shelter in safe locations. This can even prove to be helpful for industries, such as agriculture and breweries, which are dependent on weather conditions.

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