Funding approved for new Met Office £100 million computer

Posted: June 30, 2013 by tchannon in media, Politics

The Sun newspaper is claiming an exclusive today Sunday 30th June

Ministers approve weather machine

BLUNDERING weather boffins are to get a new £100million supercomputer to help improve their forecasting.

Link here The Sun (loud web site, may play script bouncing tricks)

So far I cannot find independent confirmation but WhatDoTheyKnow? cites the Sun with this

Will the latest £100m of supercomputer spend for the Met Office be competitively tendered to EU regulation?


  1. Andrew says:

    Name the computer Mystic Meg. I can hear Piers Corbyn grinding his teeth from here.

  2. Stephen Richards says:

    If it’s true then …. what can one say. More taxpayer money down the AGW drain. Happily I’m not one of them.

  3. mikemUK says:

    Andrew – perhaps he should offer them his old laptop instead, seems to do a better job than their existing one.
    A £100m new computer’s power consumption on top of their old one should manage to pretty well cancel out wind farm contribution to the grid on a good many days in the year!

  4. Doug Proctor says:

    What is that, 3 pounds per family, every family in the UK?

    People at the top don’t appreciate any more than people at the taxpaying bottom underrstand that all this government spending comes out of regular peoples’ pockets. Even if it business taxes, those taxes get paid for indirectly by the costs of business services.

    Worse, of course, is that the goverrnment has a deficit budget, spending future money plus interest. So the actual cost per family for this foolishness is more like 5 or six pounds.

    And this is just one instance of foolishness, all for face–saving of politiicos.

    Will we (I’m a Canadian, but the principle is the same) everr get leaders who refuse to follow the utter waste of their predecessors, who insist on spending what makes sense pragmatically, to turning back to the wage-earners all that is possible so that the wage-earrners can support financially what makes fundamental social sense?

    We need a revolution of sense. The internet may allow us to identify non-sense, but we are no closer to the tools we need to instill “sense” into the system.

  5. J Martin says:

    A waste of money. All it will do is take the same set of incorrect religious assumptions and process them faster. The results will be the same, namely the usual inaccurate forecast caused by a stubborn warm bias.

    Once the Met Office give up on including religion in their climate models the computer may prove to have a use. Guess I’d better not hold my breath.

  6. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on CraigM350.

  7. Joe Public says:

    Great news!

    They’ll then be able to make their wrong predictions much more swiftly.

  8. graphicconception says:

    Before they get a new one, I think we ought to ask: What did we get from the old one?
    All I can remember is barbecue summers and dry Aprils!

  9. wayne says:

    I have always adhered to the principle that you learn more from you mistakes… sooo… now they can make their mistakes a bit fast, get the wrong answers a bit faster and maybe they will even learn a bit faster this time around (but I thought their last new super-computer was supposed to do that, didn’t work). They must really be in need of some bad mistakes and fast. Maybe this one will finally deliver.

  10. tallbloke supporter says:

    In other news:

    Cost of updating Parliament toilets to be £100,000

    “As with all procurement we undertake this will be done with a determined focus on value for money for the taxpayer.”

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    “Funding approved for new Met Office £100 million computer”

    The performance boost this will give them is worth a negligible fraction of that.

    An efficient, practical solution was within reach: Piers Corbyn.
    (Maybe stubborn pride got in the way.)

    I will again suggest to the Met Office that the sensible thing to do is reach out to Piers Corbyn. (Maybe do it quietly.)

  12. Kon Dealer says:

    Nice- but will it have the capacity to produce a holographic image of Mystic Meg reading the climate tea-leaves?

  13. Ulric Lyons says:

    Paul, it’s not going to happen, his temperature forecasts are too much of a lottery, the MetO could not afford to take the risk.

  14. Paul Vaughan says:

    hydrology? circulation?

  15. Ulric Lyons says:

    Hydrology is so dependant on temperature, e.g. the UK drought did not continue into April 2012.
    Circulation will often be out if the temperature is out.

  16. oldbrew says:

    Something to factor in to the new machine…

    ‘Ice mass the size of Greenland overlooked in climate models’

  17. TG McCoy says:


  18. Paul Vaughan says:

    So Ulric, since you appear to be having a public difference of opinion with Piers, I’m wondering what you would suggest to the met office. What are they doing right and what are they doing seriously wrong from your perspective? I’m also wondering what — if anything — you think Piers is doing right.

  19. Ulric Lyons says:

    Paul, it depends on what the MetO are trying to achieve with the increased computing power. It won’t increase certainty in longer range forecasts, that takes prediction of solar factors.

  20. Ruth Dixon says:

    I just noticed this invitation to tender – Met Office estimates £105 million (£75 million capital costs).

  21. tallbloke says:

    Ruth: £100m for a computer that still won’t be able to resolve Navier Stokes equations at a sufficiently fine resolution to do cloud formation simulation. Crazy.