Thursday, September 16, 2004

Storm Chasing with Supercomputers

Slashdot had a cool article on storm predictions with supercomputers today.

The actual article explaining this was on CNN, and can be found here: What I found interesting is that most of these models are written in Fortran! I wonder if it's Fortran 77 or Fortran 90? I learned Fortran 77 during my short tenure at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

One of the slashdot commenters explained:

Brief answer :
i) because most numerical weather codes are already written in Fortran. This means that people with the right scientific knowledge tend to be Fortran programmers, and makes porting a whole lot easier.
ii) Fortran compilers are the ones where the most work has gone into optimising the hardcore mathematical routines. Thus, the compiled code has traditionally been faster. This may no longer be true.

Current predictions can be found here:

The National Hurricane Center discussion of the models can be found here:

The Slashdot comments also provided an interesting link to a presentation on modeling tornadic supercell thunderstorms. It's in StarOffice/OpenOffice and can be found here (warning 20mb size, but worth it):

Pretty cool stuff. It'd be cool to see this stuff modeled on some of Sun's big iron (E25K anyone?) or a V60x Compute Grid with the Solaris(TM) 10 Operating System!

If you are interested in modeling weather and climate, you should also check out kpearson's site:

See also:

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