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A long history of large-scale scientific computing is associated with numerical weather prediction. Recently, interest in this field has been renewed as a result of international studies concerning the feasibility of a global observation and analysis experiment preliminary to the World Weather Watch. This paper describes the physical phenomena occurring in the atmosphere and the problems of modeling them for computer analysis. The numerical methods commonly used in general circulation models are described briefly and the relative advantages discussed. Finally, an analysis of the computer requirements for global weather calculations is developed and the need pointed out for very fast computers capable of executing the equivalent of hundreds of millions of instructions per second.
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