When you pull up the weather forecast on your smartphone or check online to see if a storm is coming tomorrow, you likely have a Seattle company to thank for the predictions.
Supercomputer company Cray Inc. recently signed another big contract to provide computing power to another major weather center. Under the agreement, Cray's technology will power weather forecasts from the Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology.
Cray now estimates it produces weather forecasting in more than 60 percent of the world's large weather centers, including the United Kingdom, Germany and the U.S. National Weather Service.
The company, which has 1,300 employees worldwide, including 130 in Seattle, has been growing at an accelerated pace in the past few years, thanks largely to big government contracts for supercomputers. The company is expecting about $715 million in revenue this year, up from $561.6 million in 2014.
Cray's technology makes sense of weather-forecasting simulations, which are large, complex calculations, Chief Strategy Officer Barry Bolding said.
The technology creates models, which turn into the forecasts we see on the news and online.
Generally, Cray's computers are used mainly in research capacities by government agencies — to simulate nuclear explosions, for example.
But the computing company also generates analytics for a Major League Baseball team — Bolding couldn't disclose which one — to run simulations on pitcher/hitter matchups.
The company also competes to be named the world's fastest supercomputer. Its Titan model placed second in July, losing first place to China's Tianhe-2.