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The Thor weather forecasting supercomputer acquired in May 2017 by Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., generates thunderstorm likelihood and potential, and compiles many other weather scenarios that could impact military operations. When purchased, Thor was ranked the 150th most powerful supercomputer on earth, and is now located at Offutt AFB, Neb. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Benjamin Newell) Supercomputing the weather with ‘Thor’
Thor models global weather patterns and provides individual air bases and army units with specific forecasts for areas as small as 17 square kilometers. The computer system is comprised of nearly 1,000 individual blade servers. Thor’s increased capacity allows weather Airmen at Offutt to generate initial conditions and process them. Locally produced baseline data, combined with Thor’s increased processing speed, results in forecasts reaching the warfighter in half the time. This gives forecasters and mission planners up to three extra hours to exploit forecasts.
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2017
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