News

News

21.05.2015

Precise weather forecast with a super computer

ECMWF predicts the weather.

Design & Data produced an animated clip for the "European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts" – short: ECMWF. The minute-long film visualizes the mechanism whereby the organisation creates accurate weather predictions.

This is how it works: Numerous weather stations around the world collect weather observations. In total 40 million observations are collected every day by instruments on ground (fixed weather stations) , in the air (planes) and on sea (ships). This data is then complemented by satellite observations.

The mass of information is sent to a giant super computer with a capacity of 5.5 petabytes. This volume is barely conceivable when you consider that 1 petabyte equates to one billion megabytes.

With this data ECMWF’s super computer makes 200 trillion calculations per second to generate very precise numerical weather forecasts. These weather forecasts are provided to all ECMWF member states and cooperating states and help to determine weather trends for the next days, weeks and even months.

ECMWF is a mix of science and technology and provides a unique service for the benefit of Europe’s citizens. Our video describes ECMWF’s service in a vivid and simple way using 2D animated elements to describe the complex set-up at ECMWF.

We wish ECMWF lots of success with this new communication product.