electronics company Panasonic says the company has been running its own global model for several years on an 11,000-core supercomputer. And that PWS model, he said, has not only been outperforming the GFS model but has become competitive with the gold-standard ECMWF model. “We started the global model development in 2008 and finally got to the point where we were outperforming ECMWF by late last year,” Jacobs said.
There are various ways to measure model accuracy, but one of the most widely recognized is “anomaly correlation” at the 500mb, or mid-level of the atmosphere, over a 30-day average. Higher scores are better. Recently, Jacobs said, the PWS model has scored a .926, compared to a .923 for the ECMWF and .908 for the GFS. Essentially, then, a team of five weather modelers and five software engineers, as well as about 20 meteorologists and computer modeling experts at universities under contract, claims to have beaten the best government weather forecasting centers in the world.