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Big White wrong-foots Big Blue

Supercomputer fails to spot massive snow storm

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US weathermen are kicking themselves after putting their faith in an IBM supercomputer used to predict the weather, after a massive snowstorm brought much of the East Coast to a standstill and claimed seven lives. The computer had reckoned there was a 40 per cent chance of light snow falling, but this actually turned into a record 20 inch covering. The computer - capable of 2,500 billion calculations per second and claimed by IBM to give weathermen up to 10 days warning of a storm - had failed to notice the storm hidden among the reams of data from balloons, satellites, ships and ocean buoys. The weathermen said they relied on the computer rather than believing their own eyes and were eating cold humble pie this morning. It seems Big Blue has created a real snow-storm among weathermen. ® Weather links: Climate Center at National Centre for Environmental Prediction IBM supercomputer for weather prediction - demo under construction

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