Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Slipping Further Behind

My graduate advisor, Cliff Mass, provides yet another sobering assessment of U.S. numerical weather prediction in his blog today.  Be sure to give it a read.  Many of you are well aware that the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) is currently the gold standard for numerical weather prediction.  There are a host of reasons for this, but inadequate computer power for operational numerical weather prediction in the U.S. is one of the more significant.  Further, while other nations are plowing forward with major computer hardware investments, the U.S. has failed to even purchase a computer with the $25 million that was provided to NOAA by Congress a year and a half ago.


U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction
OK, those images exaggerate the situation, but this is serious business since advances in computer power and modeling capabilities offer significant potential to protect lives and property in the United States.  Other countries aren't simply throwing money at the problem for national pride. They recognize the economic advantages of advances in weather forecasting, not to mention better anticipation of a good powder day.


  1. So I suppose the climate scientists got all of the money for the AGW climate models instead? What inept govenrment employee has not been able to pry the necessary funding for the USA to have the best for MRF in the world or implement the $25MM plan to improve? A sad but typical example of a federal government at work.

  2. Too bad our governments science programs are "stove-piped" when it comes to computing resources. It would be great if the NMC could share computing power that the Department of Energy has for the Nuclear Weapons Program. :)
    Very cool looking Cray at the ECMWF. They always had stylish supercomputers. Nice to see them back in the game.

  3. Almost every branch of our government today seems to be run be people who are completely unqualified, and so this is not the only thing we are falling behind in. Protection of life and property is one thing that our elected officials are actually supposed to spend money on, so this would be a great way to spend some if it wasn't all being wasted on other stuff. I guess we will have to get used to importing not just all the goods on the store shelf, but our meteorology data now too.