the stack: According to the Met Office, the development has been made possible thanks to supercomputer technology granted by the UK Government in 2014. by Alice MacGregor
'The £97 million high-performance computing facility has allowed researchers to increase the resolution of climate models and to test the retrospective skill of forecasts over a 35-year period starting from 1980.
'In the study paper entitled, Skilful predictions of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation one year ahead, the forecast researchers claim that new supercomputer-powered techniques have helped them develop a system to accurately predict North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) – the climatic phenomenon which heavily impacts winters in the UK.
'NAO is formed when low pressure gathers over Iceland and high pressure above the Azores archipelago. A big difference in pressure increases westerly winds, resulting in cooler summers and mild, wet winters. However, when the pressure variation is small, winds drop and the UK sees much colder winters.
'The Met Office now believes it has a better way of tracking and predicting the phenomenon with its supercomputing calculations. Using a hindcasting technique, the researchers discovered that since 1980 the supercomputer would have been able to predict winter weather a year in advance with 62% accuracy.'