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RIKEN and Osaka University succeed in accurate prediction of “guerrilla rainstorms,” using the K computer

 A research group including the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) (Kobe City), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and Osaka University has developed a new system capable of predicting sudden heavy downpours called “guerrilla rainstorms,” utilizing the K supercomputer and a high-tech weather radar system.
 The fundamental method for predicting weather uses “data assimilation,” incorporating simulations with observational data. Conventional supercomputer-based weather predictions are typically done with simulations that use grids spaced at least one kilometer apart, and incorporate new observational data every hour. Due to the roughness of the calculations, these simulations cannot accurately predict the threat of torrential rain, which can develop within minutes when cumulonimbus clouds suddenly develop.
 Takemasa Miyoshi, the leader of the RIKEN AICS data assimilation team, and his team have successfully achieved big data assimilation with 100-meter grid spacing by incorporating state-of-the-art phased array weather radar developed by NICT and Osaka University with an enormous amount of data generated from RIKEN’s K computer, using observational data updated every 30 seconds. This method allows for accurate predictions of the movement of actual torrential rain. 
 Now the research group is working to speed up data transfer and calculations, and improve other factors toward practical use of this new method. With further improvement, it will revolutionize the weather prediction system, providing higher-speed and higher-definition weather forecasts. 

Takemasa Miyoshi, team leader
Observational data of sudden torrential rain in Kobe City on September 11, 2014, obtained from the phased array weather radar system
Simulation results with big data assimilation on a 100-meter grid (provided by RIKEN)
Contact : RIKEN, public relations office
Phone or E-mail +81-48-467-9272
Website http://www.aics.riken.jp/en/
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