Microsoft is partnering with the Met Office in the UK to create a new Azure-powered supercomputer that can give more accurate warning about severe weather events. As part of the multimillion-pound agreement, the pair will develop the most advanced computing machine of its type.
In fact, Microsoft says the supercomputer it will develop with the Met Office will be in the top 25 in the world, and more than twice as powerful than any other supercomputer currently in the UK.
The Met Office will base the supercomputer in the south of the UK, and it will be operational from summer 2022. Microsoft says the machine will have a 10-year lifespan.
While the UK is not home to the most devastating of weather, climate change is causing concerns about increasingly powerful storms, snow, and floods. The Met Office and other organizations have been working to prepare for an increase in severe weather.
Preparing for the Future
In a blog post, Microsoft explains how the supercomputer will help the government run Met Office better prepare for weather events:
- “More detailed models combined with an increased number of model scenarios and growing amounts of environmental and social data will mean that forecasts and projections for risk-based planning will be significantly improved. One example of how this will be used is in creating very detailed city scale simulations to provide localised climate information to improve city design, such as public transport infrastructure
- Better forecasting of local-scale weather using very high resolution simulations that can be quickly turned on in an area where severe weather is forecast. This will enhance emergency preparedness to local storms, heavy rain and flooding
- Increased access to ever greater amounts of weather and climate data, providing businesses with new opportunities to innovate and create new services based on this information
Ever more accurate forecasts of wind and temperature information for the aviation industry, driving ever greater fuel efficiency and safety. This will deliver significant economic and environmental benefits as part of the post-Covid recovery.”
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