Weather forecasting with quantum computers

Quantum computing has the potential to change the world and disrupt all industries by providing the opportunity to solve critical problems that modern supercomputers simply cannot solve. The potential of quantum computers also includes the mapping of extremely complex weather models. This article focuses on weather forecasting using quantum computers. Let’s see how.

Accurate weather forecasting is difficult

It can be difficult to predict the weather. In weather forecasting, it is difficult to achieve 100% accuracy, especially when the weather is considered changeable and the information available is limited. Advanced wild weather warnings are needed to minimize the impact of catastrophic events and the ensuing devastation and loss, but current models can only predict regional-scale weather events such as snowstorms and snowstorms. hurricanes, not more localized events such as thunderstorms. Thus, there is a requirement for computing power to keep an eye on the entire globe and predict when a single storm could become dangerous. But it is not available. Many of the world’s largest supercomputers are already dedicated to weather forecasting, but to achieve greater accuracy they need even more brute computational force. Here is the emergence of quantum computing.

Every year there are hurricanes, extreme heat waves, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events, causing thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Predicting extreme weather conditions further in advance and with increased accuracy could allow targeted regions to be better prepared to reduce loss of life and property damage.

Certainly, much work has been undertaken in the development of advanced computer models to improve forecasting over the years, and much progress has been made. Weather forecasting requires the analysis of huge amounts of data containing several dynamic variables, such as temperature, pressure and air density that interact in non-trivial ways. However, there are limits to using conventional computers and even supercomputers to develop numerical weather and climate prediction models. In addition, the process of analyzing weather data by traditional computers may not be fast enough to keep up with constantly changing weather conditions.

Even local weather forecasts, which are changing rapidly and constantly, can benefit from better forecasting. Take, for example, thunderstorms, where very accurate and advanced forecasting through better data analysis could minimize the resulting damage, as there could be more advance warnings of potential power outages and increased preparedness, allowing the local community to restore power more quickly.

Quantum computers for better local and global weather forecasts

Quantum computing will be used to improve weather forecasting both locally and on a larger scale for more advanced and accurate warning of extreme weather events, potentially saving lives and reducing property damage every year. Beyond weather forecasts, to stay informed on the state of quantum computing and its growing impact on a variety of industries, stay up to date with the 1QBit blog and follow us on social media.

Quantum computing has the potential to enhance conventional numerical methods to improve weather monitoring and forecasting by processing huge amounts of data containing many variables efficiently and quickly, harnessing the computing power of qubits and using quantum-inspired optimization algorithms. Additionally, pattern recognition, crucial for understanding weather, can be improved using quantum machine learning.

Progression and prediction

Improving weather forecasting using quantum computing is expected to become a reality in the near future.

The UK Met Office has already invested heavily in quantum computing to help improve forecasting, while IBM Research has collaborated with The Weather Company, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research ( NCAR) in America to develop a rapidly updating scale model of storms that could predict thunderstorms at the local level. Their model is the first to cover the entire globe and will provide high resolution forecasts even in the most underserved areas. It uses high-performance computing technology and geographic processing units from IBM and, in the future, has the potential to combine with quantum computing to help track and predict weather conditions in a way that conventional supercomputers are unable to achieve.

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Norma A. Roth