Wild weather during Cyclone Dylan
Wild weather during Cyclone Dylan

Supercomputer to deliver better weather warnings

A SUPERCOMPUTER promises to deliver more accurate and localised severe thunderstorm and cyclone warnings across Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology computer  is expected to begin operation in mid-2016.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Parliamentary Secretary Senator Simon Birmingham visited the Bureau's Victoria Regional Office on Wednesday.

They and said procurement of the new supercomputer will begin before the end of this year.

"The new supercomputer will enable the Bureau to provide more accurate and localised weather information, such as the location and timing of severe thunderstorms and cyclones, improved timing and direction of wind changes in fire weather, and better flood warnings,'' Mr Hunt said.

Senator Simon Birmingham said the increase in computing capability will also offer the bureau additional processing power and the ability to run the complex mathematical models used to forecast weather at a higher resolution, as well as more frequently.

"Like all IT infrastructure, supercomputers have a limited operational life. This will be the eighth replacement since the bureau's first supercomputer was commissioned in 1988," Senator Birmingham said.

"Improvements in the forecast services of the bureau will better inform emergency services and the community in making important decisions regarding safety, resourcing and response strategies during severe and extreme weather events."

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