Alfredo Rocha, CESAM´s Professor, interviewed by Expresso about the decrease in the number of flights and the consequent decrease in data for weather forecasts
Published in 18/5/2020
It is expected that the reduction in the number of flights during the pandemic crisis may be reflected in the quality of weather forecasts, argues Alfredo Rocha. Data published in the weekly Expresso and compiled by several researchers, including Professor Alfredo Rocha, show this possibility. “Most of the commercial flights are very important for the weather forecast carried out by the meteorological institutes.” Weather forecasting uses the Laws of Physics to predict the evolution of the properties of the atmosphere, such as temperature, precipitation, winds, among others. For that it is necessary to know in the best possible way the physical properties of the atmosphere near the surface, but also at altitude, in a given moment. It is from this initial knowledge that the weather forecast for the next few days is made. These observations are obtained from meteorological stations, but also from buoys anchored or drifting in the oceans, radars and weather satellites. In addition to these, ships and aircraft also report meteorological observations of various weather parameters performed on board. The decrease in the number of flights due to COVID-19 has resulted in the reduction of daily weather reports from approximately 800,000 to 170,000, which represents a decrease of 80%.
Full news: https://www.ua.pt/en/noticias/9/63224