The Met Office has secured funding to build a new £97 million supercomputer to improve the accuracy of its forecasting and climate modelling.

The supercomuter will be supplied by Seattle-based specialists Cray and will be capable of more than 16,000 trillion calculations a second, thirteen times faster the the Met Office’s current capabilities.

The Cray XC40 system will enable the Met Office to run UK-wide forecasts every hour, rather than every three hours currently, at a resolution of 1.5km.

The new high performance computer (HPC) will weigh an estimated 140 tonnes and will be sited partly at the IT Halls at the Met Office HQ in Exeter and partly at a purpose-designed building at the nearby Exeter Science Park, subject to planning permission.

It will be built in Exeter during 2015 and go into operation next September.

Cray president and CEO Peter Ungaro commented:

“The Met Office is both a pioneer and leader in weather and climate services, and we are excited that Cray supercomputers and storage solutions will assist them in achieving their important and complex mission of informing citizens and industry how the weather and climate will affect them now and in the future.”

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