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UK News Met Office to get £1.2bn supercomputer to better predict severe weather

08:05  17 february  2020
08:05  17 february  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

What advice Bristol and Cardiff airports have for passengers as Storm Ciara hits this weekend

  What advice Bristol and Cardiff airports have for passengers as Storm Ciara hits this weekend Many people will be travelling due to the Six Nations but the Met Office have warned that flying debris could cause a danger to lifeThe Met Office has issued three weather warnings for Wales with gale-force winds and torrential rain set to begin on Saturday evening.

The Met Office is to be given £ 1 . 2 billion of public money to build a supercomputer that will be one of the most powerful weather forecasting machines The data will help local authorities and communities to be better prepared for storms and flooding, the Met Office said, with more sophisticated rainfall

The Met Office ’s current supercomputer contains enough storage to hold over 100 years’ worth of high definition films and takes in more than 215 billion weather observations from all over the world every day. The investment, £ 854m of which will be spent on the new supercomputing capability

a close up of a map: Forecasters predicted Storm Ciara six days before it hit, but experts say the new supercomputer will be faster © Other Forecasters predicted Storm Ciara six days before it hit, but experts say the new supercomputer will be faster

A supercomputer which can forecast weather and climate 18 times faster than current technology is set to be developed.

The new technology, funded by a £1.2bn investment from the government, is expected to be the most powerful system used for forecasting in the world and will be managed by the Met Office.

Forecasters were able to predict storms Ciara and Dennis six days in advance, but the new technology would be even more powerful.

Video: Storm Dennis wreaks havoc across UK

The supercomputer will be used to predict worldwide climate patterns and the kind of conditions that have seen both severe flooding in India and destructive bushfires in Australia in recent months.

Met Office warns Storm Dennis set to hit North Wales within days

  Met Office warns Storm Dennis set to hit North Wales within days The storm could damage buildings, cause power cuts and spark transport delays The Met Office has named the approaching storm and put a weather warning in place as severe gales are set to cause disruption across Wales and England on Saturday.

The fact is that predicting the "big picture" of future conditions has got a lot better - Storm And that might now change as the Met Office secures the help of a supercomputer project costing £ 1 . 2 bn . Image caption The Met Office 's existing supercomputer . " We ' ll be streets ahead of anybody else

More from Weather . Met Office to get £ 1 . 2 bn supercomputer to improve weather and climate People across the UK are being warned to prepare for the weather and be willing to change plans at The whole of Scotland is covered by a yellow warning, with more severe alerts no longer in force as

It will also help guide government policy on hitting its target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Professor Penelope Endersby, chief executive of the UK weather service, described it as "a great vote of confidence in our world-leading weather and climate centre".

a person standing in a room: The technology could help people to prepare better for severe weather © PA The technology could help people to prepare better for severe weather "This supercomputer will enable us to do more accurate, more timely, more localised, more tailored forecasts of weather and climate so that people can make better decisions in the face of severe weather or climate change as to how to survive and thrive," she said.

But Clara Goldsmith from the Climate Coalition, the UK's largest group dedicated to action against global warming, says that while investing in such technology is important, "what's just as important is that we invest in solutions to climate change that will stop this problem getting worse".

Storm Dennis: Met Office issues weather warning as heavy rain and strong winds of up to 70mph set to hit Scotland

  Storm Dennis: Met Office issues weather warning as heavy rain and strong winds of up to 70mph set to hit Scotland Storm Ciara recently hit the UK, leaving an aftermath of strong winds, heavy rain, snow and ice - but Storm Dennis is now forecast to bring further unsettled conditions this weekend. © Provided by The Scotsman The weather system will develop in the North Atlantic, before tracking eastwards towards the UK and Ireland over the coming days, passing to the north of Scotland on Saturday 15 February.

New supercomputer for Met Office Jump to media player Funding has been confirmed for a £ 97m supercomputer to improve the Met Office 's weather forecasting and climate modelling.

Media captionRob Varley, Met Office , on how the supercomputer will change forecasting. The new supercomputer should accelerate that process The improved forecasts, according to the Met Office , could deliver an estimated £ 2 bn in socio-economic benefits, including more advance warning of

"We need to invest in solutions that de-carbonise our economy... from de-carbonising our transport system, our homes, ensuring there is a proper role for renewable energy across the country," she said.

"There's investment that needs to go into all of these sectors as well."

Gallery: Storm Dennis (Photo Services)

The supercomputer will also help the government determine the best places for flood defences.

Knowing severe weather is coming as early as possible means more chance of being ready.

But Eric Brotherton, from Ribchester in Lancashire, believes the money would be better spent now helping people like him who are repeatedly left to protect their own homes from flood water.

"£1.2bn on a computer?" he said. "No... It's got to be people first then the computer in my opinion."

What is the difference between a flood alert and a flood warning? Scotland braces itself for weekend of heavy rain .
The UK is to be showered with three days of heavy rain, as the Met Office issues yellow weather warnings from Thursday (20 Feb) until Saturday (22 Feb). © Provided by The Scotsman Parts of the UK are already dealing with flooding following the aftermath of Storm Dennis last weekend, and there are currently 11 flood alerts and eight flood warnings in place for Scotland.The Environment Agency (EA) also has more than 100 flood warnings in place for England for Thursday (20 Feb) as the wet weather continues.

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