Software Upgrade (After 40 Years) Aims to Improve U.S. Weather Forecasts

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has introduced a significant upgrade to the software that guides its weather prediction capability for the first time in four decades. The Global Forecast System (GFS) software requires huge amounts of computing power to model the physics of global weather. The system uses data from satellites and sensors to predict conditions in coming hours and days. The upgraded system will help improve predictions of severe weather, including winter storms, hurricanes, and other tropical storms. The GFS upgrade has been tested for a year, running models based on data from past warm and cold seasons and comparing the results with what actually happened. Said Brian Gross, director of NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center, “We are confident the upgrade will provide an overall improvement,” and more accurate forecasts of temperature, rainfall, and snowfall.

More info here: The New York Times, Henry Fountain

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