India eyes supercomputer for accurate weather predictions

February 17th, 2011 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is planning to acquire an advanced supercomputer to carry out cutting edge research in weather predictions and the future of earth’s climate, Minister of State for Science and Technology Ashwani Kumar said here Thursday. “We have decided to increase the computing capacity of the supercomputer from 70 teraflops (70 trillion floating-point operations per second) to 300 teraflops. This will increase accuracy in predictions for storms, tsunami and climate research,” Kumar told reporters.

He, however, declined to say whether a new supercomputer will be acquired or the capacity of the present one will be upgraded.

He also said discussions are on whether to acquire the supercomputer from abroad or develop it in the country itself. Kumar said the IMD will reach out to 30 lakh farmers across the country by the end of 2011 for providing agricultural forecast.

“As of now, we provide agromet services to 12 lakh farmers and our target for 2011 is 30 lakh farmers and about 5 crore in coming years,” he said.

Farmers Weather Bulletins are issued daily by the IMD’s forecasting offices for broadcast in different regional languages through the All India Radio in its evening programmes.

IMD also provides weather updates to farmers on SMSes free of cost.

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