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The Bureau of Meteorology will be able to deliver more accurate, more certain and more frequent weather forecasts thanks to a 1660 teraflop supercomputer, which will eventually have its speed boosted to 5 petaflops.
A supercomputer developed by China's National Defense University remains the fastest publically known computer in the world while the U.S. is close to an historic low in the latest edition of the closely followed Top 500 supercomputer ranking, which was published on Monday.
To get an edge over China in the supercomputing arms race, the U.S. plans to build a 180-petaflop supercomputer that will be used mainly for scientific research.
On Jan. 14, the U.S. upgraded its main weather forecasting model, which subsequently did a very good job in predicting the track of last week's East Coast blizzard. It correctly predicted that heavier snows would be east of New York City, even as the official weather forecast -- based on a mix of computer models -- had the city getting buried in two feet of snow.
To better anticipate the next Sandy-size hurricane, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is upgrading the supercomputers it uses for predicting the weather.
In 1995, the top-grossing film in the U.S. was Batman Forever. (Val Kilmer as Batman, Jim Carrey as the Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. Yeah.) The L.A. Rams were moving back to St. Louis, and Michael Jordan was moving back to the Bulls. Violence was rife in the Balkans. The O.J. trial happened.
China has produced a supercomputer capable of 54.9 petaflops that will likely be recognized as the world's fastest system this week with the unveiling of a new Top500 list.