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Press release archive: 2013

CSC - IT Center for Science to handle acquisition of new supercomputer

18.9.2013 9:19

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is upgrading its high-performance computing environment for weather forecasting and scientific computing.

Photo: Antonin Halas

Photo: Antonin Halas

CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. will be responsible for working together with the FMI in the design and acquisition of the new supercomputer solution.

The new supercomputer will ensure the continued production of the FMI's operative weather predictions and will support the institute’s research work. The capacity of the new equipment will be four times that of the institute’s present computing capacity.

In addition to weather predictions, the Finnish Meteorological Institute will use the supercomputer for computation of climate models, atmosphere circulation models and ocean circulation models, as well as the processing of satellite photos. The solution offers better than ever possibilities for the FMI’s other research projects that require high computing capacity,

Computing capacity decisive in development of forecasts

Powerful supercomputers are of great importance in ensuring the development of large-scale weather and climate predictions. The supercomputer computes a weather prediction model for a specific geographical area, which is depicted by a three dimensional grid of points. Each of the grid nodes serves as a computation point, where equations depicting the development of the atmospheric conditions are solved. The model produces information on important weather variables, such as temperature, air pressure, wind velocity, humidity, cloud cover and volumes of precipitation.

Higher computing capacity facilitates better predictions that are produced predominantly by precise resolution models. The new computer makes it possible to produce 48 hour predictions with 2.5 kilometre resolution for all of Scandinavia, instead of just for Finland as is presently possible. This will help, especially, in the prediction of strong thunderstorms that travel from outside of Finland’s borders.

CSC as the acquisition specialist

CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. will act as specialist for the supercomputer acquisition. CSC has extensive experience in the field: Finland’s most powerful computers have been situated in CSC’s datacentres for some three decades already. Researchers from universities, universities of applied sciences and the Finnish Meteorological Institute all use CSC’s computers.
In theory, the maximum output of FMI’s new supercomputer, the Cray XC30, will be approximately 140,000 billion computations per second (140 Tflops). The total number of cores will be over 6,000.

Further information:

Head of Unit Matti Keränen, puh. 040 725 9926, matti.keranen@fmi.fi
Weather prediction models:
Head of Group Sami Niemelä, puh. 050 573 7738, sami.niemela@fmi.fi

CSC, Development Manager Dan Still, tel. +358 50 381 9037