Aeolus winds now in daily weather forecasts
10 January 2020
ESA's Aeolus satellite has been returning profiles of Earth's winds since 3 September 2018, just after it was launched – and after months of careful testing these measurements are considered so good that the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is now using them in their forecasts.
The decision to include new measurements in weather forecasts is never taken lightly; it takes a lot of work to understand the data properly and ensure that they are of good quality.
It is extremely unusual for a completely new type of satellite data to be ready for practical use in forecasts so soon after launch. Nevertheless, this extraordinary satellite has surpassed expectations and, as of today, Aeolus will be improving our forecasts, from one-day forecasts to those forecasting the weather more than a week ahead.
Boasting a number of ‘firsts', Aeolus is the first satellite mission to provide profiles of Earth's wind in cloud-free air globally, carries the first instrument of its kind, and uses a novel approach to measuring the wind from space.