Supercomputers: The Big Thing behind Weather Forecasting

Supercomputers: The Big Thing behind Weather Forecasting

Many years ago, the weather forecasting was the responsibility of the numerical weather prediction centers, which were struggling to progress steadily in skill and to reach an impressive level of quality. Through years they managed to increase resolution, provide better numerical algorithms, and add massive amounts of new observations from satellites, besides the advanced data assimilation schemes that have been added to ingest observations in models.

Nowadays, weather prediction has gotten much better due to many factors including, global communications networks, satellite imaging, and high-performance computing, as well.  

The High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) provides a new coupled global climate model (CGCM), which has been developed at the Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research (CECCR). We develop this model especially to generate seasonal to sub-seasonal forecasting and long-term climate simulations.


As we believe that weather forecast should provide accurate early warnings on weather extremes. That’s why we developed “CGCM” to well-understand and forewarn the current extreme weather conditions including, tsunamis, avalanches, and impending storms. Now, CGCMs managed to become one of the most practical means of studying climate, climate change, and of making climate predictions on both global and regional scales.

With an increased computing capacity, Aziz supercomputer, using the Saudi-KAU model “CGCM” can provide a more accurate representation of the climate models. Using supercomputers can enhance weather prediction and enable it to provide the most accurate weather conditions, in addition to showing the reasons and impacts of it.

The Saudi-KAU Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM); Components and Framework


As shown in the previous diagram, the system is built as a framework consisting of land, atmosphere, and ocean components, along with the OASIS3-MCT coupler.

You can check this article “Saudi-KAU Coupled Global Climate Model: Description and Performance” for more details. Click here. 


However, The Saudi-KAU model is considered as an evolution of the pre-existing Seoul National University (SNU) GCM (Kang et al. 2004; Lee et al. 2001, 2003) into a more comprehensive, modular, multi-component system that is highly versatile, yet easy to deploy and use. The results show that the model reasonably simulates the main dynamical and physical features of the Earth’s climate system.

How The Saudi-KAU Model CGCM could achieve the Ultimate Weather Forecasting and Climate Modeling?


The secret is; the intersection of the technologies we use to observe atmospheric conditions, as well as, the sophisticated high-performance computer models we develop.

The Saudi-KAU Model “CGCM” includes a comprehensive land surface model, a microphysics scheme, and a radiation scheme, all adopted from external sources. 

Accelerate insight with Simulation-driven Analytics


KAU’s HPCC is committed to helping organizations on their big data analytics; we offer innovative customized solutions that are easy to implement, manage, and support the technical training and services.

We offer a powerful combination of the ultimate simulation software and customized hardware that is specially optimized for analytics.

Aziz supercomputer is designed to cater to the needs and requirements of big data analytics, providing the ultimate scalability, max speed, and to tackle the massive data workloads and complex simulations.