Michael Uddstorm on Niwa Supercomputer
Michael Uddstrom, the principal scientist at Niwa, was our guest presenter on 11 March 2019.
New Zealand, with is maritime position, has been subjected to unpredictable weather and resultant disasters like the Wahine sinking.
Michael explained how Niwa and its new super computer try to make weather predictions more accurate and precise.
Niwa gets input from weather stations, satellites, balloons, aircraft, ships and buoys. They need equations to accurately model the relevant atmospheric processes. These processes cover 567,000,000 locations and variables.
The new Niwa supercomputer can make the equivalent of 33,900,000 calculations by every man, woman & child in NZ, in a second.
It also monitors sea surges and storm surges and It forecasts river flow for storm events. See photo of Michael Uddstrom explaining this.
The supercomputer has nodes as well as primary locations (e.g. Tamaki Data Centre and at Greta Point). The primary centres and nodes communicate with each other, to make the calculations and deliver the final models and predictions.