Mansour Almazroui
Director, Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research, KAU


Weather and climate extremes can have large impacts on the socio-economy of Saudi Arabia. The global and regional prediction and simulation of such extremes are based on numerical weather and climate models running on High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. The Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research (CECCR) is one of the main users of the King Abdulaziz University (KAU) Aziz supercomputer, utilizing it to run climate and weather models. The acquisition of the hardware for the Aziz supercomputer coincided with an accelerated drive to upgrade the climate and weather model software used at CECCR, to get maximum performance benefit from the new system. Software developments include the introduction of fully parallel land (CLM) and ocean (NEMO and MOM5) models to our Saudi- KAU coupled global climate model (CGCM). Many other enhanced atmospheric physics packages such as convection, radiation and planetary boundary layer were also introduced in Saudi-KAU CGCM. The Aziz supercomputer has been extensively utilized for the Saudi-KAU CGCM verification process.

The parallelism in the spectral dynamical core of the atmospheric model has been generalized to support 2-D domain decomposition instead of the original 1-D decomposition. This development has boosted performance (for the same node-count) by at least 25% and for some configurations by almost a factor of 2. Moreover, it allows compute-intensive high-resolution simulations to run efficiently on more nodes and makes it practical to run routine simulations at higher resolutions than before.

In a separate development at CECCR, the KAU weather forecast model, specially enhanced to track the presence of sand and dust in the atmosphere, has been restored to full parallelism, using MPI message-passing in a standard 2-D domain decomposition of the model's regular grid structure. An ensemble prediction system has also been developed to provide an extra measure of confidence in the forecasts. Such a system depends critically on the large HPC compute capacity of the Aziz supercomputer.

Work continues on both the weather and climate models to improve their parallel performance and efficiency. Examples will be shown of how these enhanced climate and weather simulations can have a practical impact on Saudi life and society.


Prof. Almazroui is currently the head of the Department of Meteorology at the Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture in King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Almazroui is also the associate fellow in the (Climatic Research Unit), University of East Anglia, England. He obtained his Bsc in 1991 and Master Degree in 1998 from the Department of Meteorology, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University. He completed his PhD in CRU in 2006. The title of his PhD was “The relationships between atmospheric circulation patterns and surface climatic elements in Saudi Arabia”.

Beside lecturing he is also University representative in the National Saudi Committee to prepare “The national detailed strategic plan for Environmental Technology in Saudi Arabia”.the Departmental head of the Academic Accreditation and the Faculty head of the internet committee.