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TMCNet:  Computer Weather UPDATE1

[February 04, 2013]

Computer Weather UPDATE1

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Feb. 5 -- (Kyodo) _ (EDS: UPDATING WITH SUPERCOMPUTER'S RECOVERY FROM GLITCH) The Japan Meteorological Agency said Tuesday that it had restored the operations of its weather forecasting supercomputer following a malfunction that may have compromised the accuracy of its predictions.


The agency said the supercomputer returned to normal operation around 9 a.m. Tuesday, about 12 hours after the emergence of a problem with the supercomputer's cooling unit, which prevented it using up-to-date weather data.

The agency had failed to provide data on weather forecasts to private weather information companies since the problem occurred just before 9 p.m. Monday.

The agency was forecasting heavy snow on Pacific coastal regions in western and eastern Japan on Tuesday and Wednesday as a developing low pressure system passes along the south of the Japanese archipelago. The agency said it would check whether the trouble had affected its immediate forecast.

The agency's earthquake and tsunami observation and warning system remained intact as it relies on another computer, it said.

The supercomputer, manufactured by Hitachi Ltd., was installed in June last year at a building in the Tokyo suburb of Kiyose city. It is designed to perform around 800 trillion computations per second, around 30 times faster than the previous model installed at the same place.

Using the supercomputer, the agency produces twice per day weather forecast charts based on numerical data that predicts the condition of each of the atmospheric "cells" in a given area.

According to the agency, the glitch prevented the supercomputer from updating its numerical data. It can produce forecasts but accuracy may be compromised because it has to temporarily rely on data collected before the trouble.

(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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