Cheyenne Supercomputer To Tackle 5 New Projects

Feb 17, 2015

Side view of some of the Yellowstone supercomputer's 100 racks. An iconic scene from Yellowstone National Park is featured mosaic-style on the ends of each rack. The image by Michael Medford, licensed to National Geographic, centers on Fountain Geyser.
Credit ©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin

In coming months, the NCAR supercomputer in Cheyenne will tackle five new projects that could improve weather and climate forecasting in Wyoming. The supercomputer, known as Yellowstone, has the capacity of nearly 73-thousand desktop computers, working together as one. That power will be used studying wind turbine performance and population growth in the Colorado River Basin, among other things. University of Wyoming professor Bart Geerts’ project is especially ambitious.

In only a few months, the supercomputer can generate detailed computer models of 30 years of past and future high mountain precipitation.

“The NCAR-Wyoming supercomputer is a very powerful computer that allows us for the first time to examine precipitation, snowpack, streamflow at a very high resolution in the state of Wyoming and surrounding areas.”

Geerts says in only a few months, the supercomputer can generate detailed computer models of 30 years of past and future high mountain precipitation. He says such information could be a huge help to Wyoming as it plans for the possible effects of climate change.