MILWAUKEE– The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people’s lives… from those sickened by the virus, to those working on the front lines… and yes… your local meteorologist.
As the airline industry limits the number of planes in the air over the next several months, meteorologists and the National Weather Service could miss out on some valuable atmospheric data supplied by those planes. A more detailed explanation of how this works can be found here.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a major impact, but it will have an effect,” TMJ4 Storm Team 4 meteorologist Brian Niznansky says
He says computer models, aided in part, by the data supplied by commercial airplanes has become increasingly important over the last decade, but there’s always been, and always will be, a human element in forecasting.
“The thing about being a human meteorologist is that you can put your own input on the computer models,” Niznansky says. “Even today, computer models sometimes have difficulty navigating local phenomenons, like mountain ranges, or in our case, Lake Michigan.”
You can listen to Niznansky’s full interview with WTMJ’s Mike Spaulding above.
This story was written as part of WTMJ’s Severe Weather Awareness Week coverage. WTMJ’s Severe Weather Warnings are brought to you by Fleet Farm.