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System for Predicting Lightning to be Launched by Government

new tools will help IMD to disseminate forecasts and warnings on time," he said adding the new website and apps will be ready for launch by June 2019.

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Representational Image .Panorama photography taken during a lightning storm over Bucharest, Romania. Image Source:Wikipedia Common

In view of life-threatening thunderstorms and lightning during the pre-monsoon season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to implement an end-to-end prediction system for predicting thunderstorms or lightning by April 2019.

“Last year, during the pre-monsoon season a series of thunderstorm or dust storm affected the northern states and claimed about 200 lives. Hence, the IMD will be implementing an end-to-end prediction system for predicting thunderstorms or lightning by April 2019,” Ministry of earth sciences said in a release on Monday.

Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and IMD are already working on prediction tools for thunderstorm or lightning.

“IITM Pune has already installed 48 lightning sensors around the country which can locate the thunderstorm/lightning activities in real time. The institute has also developed a mobile app called ‘DAMINI’ to give alerts on impending lightning activity over the area,” Vardhan said while addressing the media here.

Vardhan also informed that currently IITM Pune and IMD are developing a new website for IMD along with the mobile apps for farmers and city forecasts.

“These new tools will help IMD to disseminate forecasts and warnings on time,” he said adding the new website and apps will be ready for launch by June 2019.

Vardhan said that the IMD, in a bid to further strengthen its observational network will install “10 new X-band weather radars” over north-west Himalayas (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) by end of this year.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Government to launch system for predicting thunderstorms (IANS)

Also, as per the earth sciences ministry, 11 more C-band radars will be installed by IMD over the plains of India including one over Andaman Nicobar Islands and one over Lakshadweep Islands by 2020.

“In addition, IMD is installing 200 Automated Weather Stations (AWS) at District Agromet Units for providing weather services to farmers and another 200 AWS will be installed over major cities and towns for providing city-specific weather information and forecasts, it said.

“On the specific request from Kerala Government, IMD will also be installing 100 new AWS including rain-gauges to monitor weather activities in the state,” Vardhan’s office said.

In another initiative, Vardhan informed that IITM Pune with the help of IMD and Mumbai Municipal Corporation is installing a new dense rain-gauge network over Mumbai with 200 rain-gauges.

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In addition, 4 X-band radars will be also installed so that a merged rainfall data set at 2-kilometre resolution will be prepared and made available to the public in real time.

“This facility will help the city administration and general public to know the prevailing rainfall situation in the city in real-time. For this purpose, a mobile app has already been developed,” the Minister said. (IANS)

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Intel and Cray Collaborate With U.S. Government, Aims for Nation’s Fastest Computer

The world's current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

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Intel
This Jan. 1, 2018, file photo shows an Intel logo on the box containing an HP desktop computer on sale at a Costco in Pittsburgh. VOA

A U.S. government-led group is working with chipmaker Intel and Cray to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research, officials said Monday.

The Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago said they were working on a supercomputer dubbed Aurora with Intel, the world’s biggest supplier of data center chips, and Cray, which specializes in the ultra-fast machines.

The $500 million contract for the project calls on the companies to deliver a computer with so-called exaflop performance — that is, being able to perform 1 quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

Computer
It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers. VOA

If the project succeeds, Aurora would represent nearly an order of magnitude leap over existing machines that feature so-called petaflop performance, capable of doing 1 quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) calculations a second.

It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers.

One of Aurora’s primary functions would be simulating nuclear blasts, a pillar of weapons development since the ban of live detonation testings.

Aurora will be built with artificial intelligence capabilities for projects such as developing better battery materials and helping the Department of Veterans Affairs prevent suicides, Rick Stevens, an associate lab director with Argonne overseeing the exascale computing project, said during a news
briefing.

The project is a win for Intel, which will supply its Xeon CPU chips and Optane memory chips for Aurora.

FILE - The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017.
The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017. VOA

Intel has been fending off rival U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp.’s rise in the chip content of supercomputers as the machines take on more artificial intelligence work. Nvidia’s chips are found in five of the world’s current top 10 supercomputers, though the Nvidia chips are found alongside chips from its rivals, according to TOP500, which ranks the machines.

The world’s current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

The source of chips for supercomputers has become a factor in trade tensions between the United States and China. The world’s third-fastest supercomputer — the Sunway TaihuLight in China — has chips developed domestically in China.

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Chirag Dekate, an analyst with Gartner who studies the supercomputing market, said that despite the small contract size relative to Intel’s overall revenue, the work done on Aurora will eventually filter down to the company’s commercial customers.

“It’s not just a jingoistic race between the U.S. and China,” Dekate said. “The innovations that Intel is developing here will percolate down to other parts of its business.” (VOA)