India to have new supercomputer for weather forecasting by year end: Rijiju
Kiren Rijiju

New Delhi: India will unveil its new 18 petaflop supercomputer for weather forecasting institutes later this year, Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Wednesday.

Rijiju made the announcement after a visit to the ministry’s National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in Noida near here.

The NCMRWF houses ‘Mihir’, a 2.8 petaflop supercomputer, while the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, is home to ‘Pratyush’, a 4.0 petaflop supercomputer.

“The new supercomputer will be bought at a cost of Rs 900 crore,” Rijiju told reporters at NCMRWF.

According to the arrangement arrived at by the ministry, NCMRWF will be allocated eight petaflop supercomputing power with the remaining 10 petaflops going to IITM.

The Pune-based institute requires higher supercomputing power as it deals with seasonal weather forecasts while the NCMRWF deals with medium-range forecasts for a period extending three to seven days in advance.

The new high-power computing facility is expected to improve weather forecasts at the block level, help weather scientists give higher resolution ranges of forecast, predict cyclones with more accuracy and lead time and ocean state forecast, including marine water quality forecast.

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“Presently, we give forecasts with a 12-kilometre resolution. The new supercomputer will improve it to six-kilometre resolution. Our aim is to achieve one-kilometre resolution forecasts,” Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M Ravichandran said.

‘Mihir’ and ‘Pratyush’ were launched in 2018 and will be decommissioned once the new supercomputer is unveiled, a senior NCMRWF official said.

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