IBM Launches Weather Forecasting Model Providing Accurate Forecasts Globally

by November 15, 2019

In an effort to dodge potential climate and weather disaster, tech giant IBM introduced a new weather model that can provide high-resolution forecasts for the entire world with detail as small as two miles wide. The model, named GRAF (Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting), can offer far more accurate forecasts and will have several applications for governments and industries globally, including airlines, agriculture and retail.

To run GRAF, IBM also developed a new supercomputer, DYEUS, which will issue 12 trillion pieces of weather data on a daily basis and process forecasts every hour. The latest model can predict conditions up to 12 hours in advance with details and update forecasts six to 12 times more frequently than current modeling. With GRAF, forecasting should improve in majorly Asia, Africa and South America region and assist everything from agriculture to responding to natural disasters. It will provide forecasts of up to 15 hours for 26 million locations around the world.

DYEUS leverages IBM’s Power 9 processing chips, which are also used in Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer. It also employs graphics processing units (GPUs) that are utilized in video gaming, allowing much faster processing of visual output.

IBM GRAF is developed in a collaboration between The Weather Company and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which has an open-source model. The model runs on an IBM Power9 supercomputer and CPUs and GPUs optimized for artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.

IBM became a leading player in meteorology when it acquired The Weather Company in 2016, retaining the data collecting and forecasting units while splitting off the Weather Channel.

As people in America are familiar with their phones for storm warnings and exact, hourly forecasts, billions of individuals across the world lack even basic forecasts, which is making the world a much more chaotic place. Thus, the IBM GRAF now can inform and aid them by providing weather forecast data that can save billions of lives as well.

During the announcement of GRAF at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, in January, General Manager of Watson Media and Weather for IBM said in a statement that “Today, weather forecasts around the world are not created equal, so we are changing that. Weather influences what people do day-to-day and is arguably the most important external swing factor in business performance. As extreme weather becomes more common, our new weather system will ensure every person and organization around the world has access to more accurate, more finely-tuned weather forecasts.”