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Predicting the weather with HPC

Jack's work uses Balena to create simulations to help predict the weather quicker and more reliably than ever before

Jack is PhD student in mathematical sciences. His PhD ‘Preconditioners for Higher-order Discontinuous Galerkin discretisation of elliptic PDEs on modern architectures and applications in atmospheric modelling.’ Is looking at how HPC programming can speed up the systems currently used to predict the weather. Jack is collaborating on a new computational language using HPC to look at ways in which to speed current weather systems up.

Weather simulations

Weather simulations depend on countless variables and require enormous computing power. Jack is looking at the feasibility of using modern mathematical techniques for numerically solving partial differential equations that are used to predict the weather. The aim is to prove that his research is a new and viable method for organisations such as the Met Office to incorporate into their model. The project aims to adapt their mathematical equations into existing weather models so that it can be easily transferable.

He uses Discontinuous Galerkin methods to solve problems in Numerical Weather Prediction and shows the benefit of those methods over others when using HPC. By using these methods, he is able to split his initial equations into many smaller components, which can all be solved simultaneously by the many computer processors of the HPC. Thus, his results provide high accuracy, making full use of the architecture available and without using more energy than needed. Using Balena, one of the HPC computing systems, he was also able to perform the visualisation of a weather simulation at the surface of Earth.

Advice and Support

Jack encourages students to learn about HPC in the earlier stages of their research and invest time in learning about the software and the variety that the campus has available.

“Even if you are vaguely interested in HPC, invest time in learning how to use the HPC facilities on campus using Balena. I would encourage anyone across the University of Bath who finds themselves running long simulations, especially on a laptop, to invest some time learning to use HPC to offload this work, as it can significantly improve your work flow.”

Find out more about Jack's research

Jack's Research