Not all global forecasts were created equal—until now.

weather is a powerful force

Weather is a powerful force

No one is immune to the weather. Increasingly volatile, weather drives the decisions we make each day and can take thousands of lives and cost billions in economic value each year. Having access to accurate and reliable weather information is increasingly important as the number of severe weather events continues to climb.

Accurate weather forecasts

Global weather forecasts have lacked accuracy

Historically, global weather forecast data has lacked accuracy, which makes it difficult to look to the past for future decision making. These inaccuracies  are due to a lack of specialized weather equipment and models that update infrequently (~every 6-12 hours) and at a resolution too wide to capture many weather phenomena (~10km).

IBM Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System (IBM GRAF)

A high-precision, rapidly updating global weather model that uses high resolution weather data. The IBM GRAF weather model updates hourly and at a 3km resolution to provide a clearer picture of weather activity around the globe.

Three key differentiators set IBM GRAF apart:

IBM GRAF state-of-the-art science

Improved global mapping of the atmosphere

In order to get a closely-knit look at the weather, one must understand what is happening everywhere in the atmosphere. We partnered with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to improve its latest-generation global weather model, which uses state-of-the-art science to accurately forecast the atmosphere at a truly global scale.

IBM GRAF untapped data sets

High resolution weather forecast data

The sheer disparity in modeling most areas of the globe stems from a lack of specialized weather equipment and reliable data points available. IBM GRAF has the capability to incorporate previously untapped data sources from airplane sensors and pressure sensor readings from smartphone users (with consent) to help overcome the lack of specialized weather equipment in many parts of the world.

IBM GRAF supercomputing

First-ever operational global weather model to run on GPU-accelerated servers

To handle the increased resolution and update frequency, the new IBM GRAF system runs on an IBM POWER9-based supercomputer optimized for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), a processing unit more known for use in gaming applications. This brings the same technology behind some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to weather forecasting.

IBM has figured out a way to improve the way we predict the weather.


Put the world’s best global weather forecasts to work

Regardless of where someone lives, people and businesses around the world now have access to the most accurate weather information available so that they can make better decisions. For example:

  • A government disaster management department can better prepare for severe weather to save lives and maximize relief resources.
  • An off-shore energy and utility company can receive warning of quick forming, localized weather activity—such as thunderstorms—and be able to quickly optimize operations and keep workers safe.
  • An international aviation company can receive turbulence data more frequently and precisely so that it can ensure its passengers have a smooth take off and landing.
  • A farmer in India can have a better sense of when rainfall is likely to occur and can make a more informed decision as it relates to using fertilizer or pesticides—which are expensive—and could be washed away if there was a heavy rainfall.
  • A broadcaster can present more accurate weather graphics of localized storm activity to keep its viewers in-the-know.

IBM GRAF ensures everyone has access to reliable weather information no matter who you are or where you live. Improved predictions from the new system are enhancing IBM enterprise offerings and are available for free to consumers using IBM apps and websites (The Weather Channel and Weather Underground).

monsoon in India with IBM GRAF model

Given IBM’s technology prowess and The Weather Company’s data, the model could boast the best short-term forecasts in the world.

The Washington Post Capital Weather Gang

Let's discuss how you can put the world's most accurate forecast to work for your business.