NOAA awards contract to better predict severe weather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday awarded a $15 million contract to High Performance Technologies Inc. to build a supercomputer that will help improve severe weather forecasts.

The system, which NOAA plans to install at its Forecast Systems Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., will be 20 times more powerful than the lab's current system. After a final upgrade in 2002, the supercomputer will process about 4 teraflops of data per second.

NOAA plans to use the supercomputer to run weather models and to develop new models that help predict the formation of tornadoes and thunderstorms. In addition, the supercomputer will support the North American Atmospheric Observing System, which is designed to create a better monitoring of upper-air masses.

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Other NOAA research labs also will use the supercomputer.

BY COLLEEN O'HARA
Sept. 14, 1999

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