High Performance Computing & Communications

High Performance Computing & Communications (HPCC), established through the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991, improves the accuracy and timeliness of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) short-term weather warnings, forecasts, as well as regional and global climate and ecosystem predictions. High Performance Computing (HPC) Initiatives provide necessary computational and network resources required to advance in environmental modeling capabilities across NOAA. The benefits of HPC Initiatives include providing the infrastructure needed to: 

  • Improve the accuracy in short-term warning and weather forecast systems and models

  • Enable scientists to attack long-lead time problems associated with the physical processes that govern the behavior of the atmosphere and ocean

  • Maintain NOAA’s leadership position in understanding climate with applications towards critical issues such as hurricanes, drought, and sea-level rise

  • Accelerate modeling and simulation activities and provide relevant decision support information on a timely basis for programs

The NOAA’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System (WCOSS) provides reliable HPC capabilities essential to run real-time numerical models generating millions of weather guidance products daily.  This guidance is incorporated into public and private sector forecast processes to protect our nation’s lives and livelihoods.  Due to the critical nature of this investment, NOAA operates geographically dispersed identical primary and backup systems in Reston, VA and Orlando, FL.

NOAA’s Research and Development HPC System (RDHPCS) provides computational resources to support advances in environmental modeling crucial for understanding critical earth system modeling issues. NOAA’s environmental modeling enterprise underpins most of NOAA’s products and services to the nation. Included are high performance computing systems, associated storage devices, advanced data communications, hardware and software engineering services, security, and necessary data center space.


NOAA’s High Performance Computing and Commmunications (HPCC) program supports a unified strategy for all enterprise computing needs. NOAA’s HPCC environment provides opportunities for innovation using cutting edge technology, collaboration by partnering with the Cooperative Institutes, and stability using leadership class computational system built for greater complexity. Our goal is to provide the best possible capacity and architecture platform for the scientific needs through a mix of public, federal, and private partnerships. Through partnerships and collaboration we utilize publicly available systems and technologies to further NOAA’s science and move towards a unified research transition to operations (R20) approach.