Local News

Computer Model Makes Forecasting Easier

Posted May 16, 2001 5:57 a.m. EDT

— WRAL's new computer will be able to pinpoint everything from ice storms to tornadoes to hurricanes.

"I'm excited about the project because it's working," says John McHenry, who runs the model at MCNC'sSupercomputing Centerin the Research Triangle Park.

Meteorologists fromN.C. State Universityand theState Climate Officeare also involved in the project.

"It's not exciting that we have a model so much as we have a good team," McHenry says. "It takes a good team to make a good model and to implement a model in a way that makes sense and that's what we've done."

WRAL's team of meteorologists can take the model and convert it into graphics that are shown during their forecasts. The graphics are able to show changes in temperature, how much rain will fall and where thunderstorms will pop up.

The data that goes into WRAL's computer models comes from specific points around the globe. In order to have a perfect forecast, it is important to know what is happening with every molecule in the atmosphere all over the world at any given time.

N.C. Weatherscope is one of the only collaborations between a TV station and the research community in the country.