Senator Says Supercomputers Need Boost

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says it’s imperative for the United States to upgrade two supercomputers that forecast major weather events.

Nelson said Thursday that $25 million will be spent over the next two years to upgrade those computers as part of the Hurricane Sandy supplemental bill that was approved by Congress. Nelson said another $50 million from the bill will be spent on laboratories and research.

The 2013 hurricane season starts Saturday.

Meteorologists say the two American supercomputers that provide storm models are underpowered. The two computers are based in Reston, Va., and Orlando, Fla.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami use several hurricane models to form a storm’s projected path. The computers take data from weather satellites, observations and weather balloons, then plug the data into algorithms.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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