As the clean-up from Storm Dennis continues, the Met Office has revealed it is getting a new supercomputer - which will be one of the most advanced data gathering and information crunching systems ever - thanks to a £1.2 billion hand-out from the UK Government.
It is claimed the technology, which will be managed by the Met Office, with aid forecasting of extreme weather and climate change, as well as provide sophisticated rainfall predictions and help UK airports to work out future travel conditions.
Data collected by the powerful device will also be used to predict storms more accurately, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and forecast changes to the global climate.
The Met Office’s current supercomputer, which is due to be "retired" in late 2022, is among the world’s 50 most powerful computers, and contains enough storage to hold more than 100 years of HD films.
Met Office chief executive, Professor Penny Endersby, said: “This investment will ultimately provide earlier, more accurate warning of severe weather, the information needed to build a more resilient world in a changing climate and help support the transition to a low-carbon economy across the UK.
“It will help the UK to continue to lead the field in weather and climate science and services, working collaboratively to ensure that the benefits of our work help government, the public and industry make better decisions to stay safe and thrive.”
The supercomputer is expected to cost £854 million, with remaining funds going towards investment in the Met Office’s observations network and programme offices, over a 10-year period from 2022 to 2032.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma added: “Over the last 30 years, new technologies have meant more accurate weather forecasting, with storms being predicted up to five days in advance.
“Come rain or shine, our significant investment for a new supercomputer will further speed up weather predictions, helping people be more prepared for weather disruption from planning travel journeys to deploying flood defences.”