(CNN)The coronavirus pandemic has topped over 380,000 cases globally, with nearly 2 billion people worldwide affected by a lockdown, curfew or other movement restrictions.Now, it could impact weather forecasts too. Amid the spread of Covid-19, airlines have had to suspend passenger flights and cut schedules. Experts have found this has led to a severe decrease in aircraft-based observations, which help with weather predictions. Weather data collected by aircrafts are crucial in forecast models that control daily weather predictions. Aircraft-based observations also help in greatly reducing errors in weather forecasts. There has been a 42% reduction between March 1 to 23 in the number of aircraft reports received all over the world, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) said in a news release on Tuesday.In less than a month, the number of aircraft reports over Europe received and used by the ECMWF went down by 65%.While international weather services are seeing a dramatic decrease in commercial passenger flights, they still receive valuable aircraft data from overnight cargo and package carriers, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”Even though a decrease in this critical data will likely negatively impact forecast model skill, it does not necessarily translate into


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