Weather service Linux upgrade continues apace

The National Weather Service is halfway through upgrading its workhorse severe-storm prediction system to Linux.

The workstation replacement at 137 sites will boost the weather service's ability to warn about sudden storms and flash floods.

The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System is one of the first mission-critical government applications to run Linux.

Two-way, 2.4-GHz IBM IntelliStation M Pro and Z Pro desktop computers are replacing the legacy 100- to 120-MHz AWIPS Hewlett-Packard Co. systems.

The IntelliStations, which have 2G of RAM each, run the various AWIPS applications noticeably faster, said Chuck Piercy, the bureau's AWIPS program manager. Each IntelliStation connects to three 19-inch, flat-panel graphics monitors and one CRT for commands and text.

Because the forecasters work in stressful situations, 'having flicker-free monitors has been a great improvement in terms of eyestrain and general comfort,' Piercy said.

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