At this time of the year, across Europe, eyes turn to the sky and the question on everyone’s mind is ‘What’s the
weather going to be like on our holiday’. With the warmest June WW having recently been reported then you
would think that there are good odds for a great summer. No need to worry about he weather? But you would
be wrong. Our weather is becoming more extreme. In the UK we only recently come out of a cold and wet
winter and spring. There have been many instances of severe flooding across Europe. There has never
been a time when accurate weather forecasting has been more important.
However, holidaymakers have long accepted that they are at the mercy of the sun gods. When it comes to
booking holidays to destinations such as London, which remains Europe’s most visited city, tourists are
understandably always keen to check that they’re not in for a week of downpours, but as I write his, you
had better bring your sun cream.
Today’s weather forecasting builds on decades of numerical model development and the collaboration of
smart scientists and mathematicians across the globe. There is no guesswork in it . The models are
complex and require extreme technology to process the huge amount of observational data that floods
into the main forecast centres worldwide. Ground observations, upper air, satellite, shipping and aircraft
all contribute to the starting conditions from which the model runs, while the arrays that hold the forecast
data are getting ever finer detailed as compute and memory models advance. The output from the models
is highly time critical and is consumed by a wide variety of customers from air travel to retail.
High Performance Computing organisations are continuously looking for technologies that enable them to
complete their calculations in shorter time and distribute the results to customers without delay. Flash
technologies have revolutionalised this process over previous generation technologies application
to a single second. This empowers the forecast teams to deliver crucial weather information in emergency
Finally, ‘Keep a Weather Eye Open’ = Remain alert for changes. Watch out for the Flash Flood! For the business
and IT, Flash is biggest disruptor I have seen in the market for decades. Get it right and you will lead, get it wrong
and you will follow, at a fair distance.
NetApp Flash PortFolio Links
Laurence James – On behalf of the NetApp Products and Solutions Team