National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting Current Affairs

Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS): IMD’s new forecast model

The Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) has launched a new system to generate more accurate and area specific forecast of extreme weather events including rains, heat wave and cold wave. The new Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) has been touted as best available model after such a system available in Europe.

Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS): Key Facts

  • The new EPS system has been developed by three bodies under Ministry of Earth Sciences viz. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
  • The most salient feature of new EPS is its high resolution for short-medium range weather forecasts. Under the new system, the area of spatial resolution (currently 23 km grid scale) will come down to 12 km. This would help sending out district level warning and forecast extreme weather events as before as five days.
  • In its calculations, the system will use a newly procured 8 petaflops high-power computing system. The system was recently procured for Rs. 450 crore.

Potential Advantages

The new system will generate more accurate and better area specific forecast of extreme weather events in comparison to current models by quantifying the uncertainties in the weather forecast. The probabilistic forecasts of severe weather events at 12 km grid scale would greatly help the disaster management authorities and other users in making better emergency response decisions. The accurate weather forecasts would help farmers to damage crops and also support administration to take disasters prevention steps beforehand.

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Mihir: High performance computing facility inaugurated at Noida

Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) has inaugurated high performance computer system (HPC) or supercomputer Mihir (meaning sun) at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida.

The HCP will provide facility for improving weather/climate forecasts. It is country’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance. It also propelled India’s ranking to Top 30 in the list of HPC facilities in world.

Key Facts

With this, MoES has acquired HPC facility total of 6.8 Peta Flops (PF) which has been installed at two of its constituent units: 4.0 PF HPC facility named ‘Pratyush’ at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and 2.8 Peta Flops facility at NCMRWF, Noida. It also improved India rank to 4th position after Japan, UK and US interms of dedicated HPC resources for weather/climate forecasts.

Mihir HPC facility will improve following services

  • Weather forecasts at block level over India which can predict extreme weather events.
  • High resolution seasonal and extended range forecasts of active and break spells of Monsoon.
  • Very high resolution coupled models for prediction of cyclones with more accuracy and lead time.
  • Ocean state forecasts including marine water quality forecasts at very high resolution.
  • Tsunami forecasts with greater lead time.
  • Air quality forecasts for various cities.
  • Climate projections at very high resolution.

Significance of new HPC facility

  • Help in meeting operational requirements of MoES and also support research and development activities on various problems related to Earth Science.
  • Help MoES in developing several services for societal benefits catering by building state-of-the-art systems for multi-hazard risk reduction from floods/droughts, cyclones, heat/cold waves, earthquakes and tsunamis.

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