Installer for the world's most popular weather forecasting software
Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) is a weather forecasting software developed by researchers at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). It was designed to run only on supercomputers and other powerful hardware - the sort that can be afforded only by national Meteorological Departments. So not much effort was put into making it easy to install and use, because it was assumed that only experts would be handling it. However, as computing power has increased over the ages, it has become possible to run large codes like this on even home PCs... theoretically at least. In reality, it isn't a simple process. We spent nearly an entire semester getting it set up on our laptops! So we spent the rest of the semester making this extremely powerful and accurate weather forecaster easier to install. This way students and faculty can have a working version of WRF on their own computers and learning is accelerated. The software is in early stages of development. Though it does install the complete suite unsupervised, it still requires a decent understanding of the working of WRF and Linux in cases where installation errors crop up. We also created a GUI that can be used to build the pre-compiled 'ideal cases' provided by WRF. Here are some screenshots:
As a test of the accuracy of predictions provided by WRF, and of our own proficiency with the model, we decided to run the simulation on Cyclone Phailin as soon as we heard the first reports that it was brewing up off the east coast of India. Our results were remarkably consistent with what actually happened! Here are our results:
These results were very accurate and mirrored what happened during the actual cyclone. Our results were covered by some local and national newspapers
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