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Author(s) Saupe, D., Hartenstein, H., Wergen, W.
Title Compression of weather forecast data
Abstract This paper discusses the design and implementation of data compression applied to output from numerical weather prediction models. Such techniques will become essential when increased computational resources lead to much increased data volumes at weather forecast centers. The purpose of the data compression is to reduce the data storage requirements as well as transmission times and costs when serving remote outstations and customers with direct model output. Important issues to be considered are precision of the decoded data, the encoding and decoding speed, the complexity of the coding techniques, and the compatibility with existing standards such as GRIB. As more powerful computers become available the precision of local weather forecasts can be improved by using higher resolution in space and time for weather simulations. For example, at the German Weather Service (DWD), typically grids of 200 by 200 points are used for each of 20 model levels in the vertical. It is anticipated to replace the current mainframe computer in order to allow to increase the resolution to 800 by 800 by 50. This will blow up the resulting data file sizes by a factor of 40. Even though storage devices are becoming less expensive there is obviously...
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