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article imageIBM unveils New global weather forecasting system at CES 2019

By Karen Graham     Jan 9, 2019 in Technology
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty unveiled a new global weather forecasting system designed to provide more accurate and timely forecasts around the world at CES 2019 on Tuesday.
Most of us living in the U.S., Japan or Europe don't think too much about weather forecasts and being able to access them at any point in time. We have lots of data available to us from radar and satellites, making it easy to find out when and where a weather event may be occurring far in advance, just by checking our phones.
This kind of service is readily available in the wealthy part of our world, so it is difficult to imagine it is not available everywhere. IBM believes the wealthy world lives in a sort of protective bubble of weather-forecasting, warning of incoming storms and other dangers. But that is about to change.
The rest of the world has been depending on less accurate forecasts that cover 12- to 15-kilometer swaths of land. These forecasts are usually broadcast every 6 to 12 hours. GRAF, on the other hand, will provide 3-kilometer resolution that updates hourly, delivering reliable predictions for the day ahead.
According to Live Science, the Weather Company, a subsidiary of IBM that operates The Weather Channel as well as Weather Underground, announced a project it calls the IBM Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System (GRAF).
GRAF uses advanced IBM POWER9-based supercomputers, which is behind the U.S. Department of Energy's Summit and Sierra, the world's most powerful supercomputers.
"If you're a farmer in Kenya, if you're a farmer in Kansas, you're going to get a way better weather prediction," Rometty said at CES, the huge electronics show in Las Vegas.
The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer installation at the Argonne Leadership Angela Yang Computing Facil...
The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer installation at the Argonne Leadership Angela Yang Computing Facility located in the Argonne National Laboratory, in Lemont, Illinois.
Argonne National Laboratory's Flickr page
GRAF, the company claims, "will be the first hourly-updating commercial weather system that is able to predict something as small as thunderstorms globally." GRAF can crowdsource data from millions of previously untapped sources, including in-flight data. Global GRAF forecasts will be available to anyone with a Weather Company app later in 2019.
"Today, weather forecasts around the world are not created equal, so we are changing that," said Cameron Clayton, general manager of Watson Media and Weather for IBM.
"Weather influences what people do day-to-day and is arguably the most important external swing factor in business performance. As extreme weather becomes more common, our new weather system will ensure every person and organization around the world has access to more accurate, more finely-tuned weather forecasts."
More about CES 2019, Ibm, global weather forecasting, graf, IBM POWER9based supercomputers
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