19th Conference on IIPS


Implementation of mesoscale numerical weather prediction for weather-sensitive business operations

Lloyd A. Treinish, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY; and A. P. Praino and Z. D. Christidis

For many applications, expected local weather conditions during the next day or two are critical factors in planning operations and making effective decisions. Typically, what optimization that is applied to these processes to enable proactive efforts utilize either historical weather data as a predictor of trends or the results of synoptic-scale weather models. Alternatively, mesoscale numerical weather models operating at higher resolution in space and time with more detailed physics may offer greater precision and accuracy within a limited geographic region for problems with short-term weather sensitivity. Such forecasts can be used for competitive advantage or to improve operational efficiency and safety.

To evaluate this hypothesis, a prototype system, dubbed "Deep Thunder", has been implemented for the New York City area. This effort began with building a capability sufficient for operational use. In particular, the goal is to provide weather forecasts at a level of precision and fast enough to address specific business problems. Hence, the focus has been on high-performance computing, visualization, and automation while designing, evaluating and optimizing an integrated system that includes receiving and processing data, modelling, and post-processing analysis and dissemination. Part of the rationale for this focus is practicality. Given the time-critical nature of weather-sensitive business decisions, if the weather prediction can not be completed fast enough, then it has no value. Such predictive simulations need to be completed at least an order of magnitude faster than real-time. But rapid computation is insufficient if the results can not be easily and quickly utilized. Thus, a variety of fixed and highly interactive flexible visualizations focused on the applications have also been implemented.

We will discuss our particular architectural approach and implementation as well as the justification and implications for various design choices. Deep Thunder is now being used by local agencies to assist in operational decision making with various weather-sensitive problems in surface transportation, emergency response and electricity distribution. Therefore, we will also present some results concerning the effectiveness of such modelling capabilities for these applications.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (2.8M)

Supplementary URL: http://www.research.ibm.com/weather/NY

Session 3, Applications in Meteorology, Oceanography, Hydrology, and Climatology
Monday, 10 February 2003, 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

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