“Drop in aircraft observations could have impact on weather forecasts”
by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Weather forecasts rely on data collected from several sources, such as weather stations on the ground, radar, satellites and also aircraft-based observations. These aircrafts are equipped with sensors, computers and communications systems to collect meteorological data, such as temperature, wind and sometimes humidity and turbulence. This data is then used for a range of meteorological applications, including, climate monitoring and prediction and early warning systems for weather hazards.
Since the beginning of March, when COVID-19 started spreading worldwide, airline companies begun to cancel flights. As a consequence, aircraft weather reports declined 42% globally, and up to 65% in Europe (March 23th as compared to March 3rd). Mitigation measures are being sought and taken, such as the ESA’s Aeolus satellite mission.
To know more:
“AMDAR Observing System” https://public.wmo.int/en/programmes/global-observing-system/amdar-observing-system