FlightAware, Synoptic Team on Mode-S Weather Data

 - March 16, 2021, 12:47 PM

Flight tracking company FlightAware and weather data aggregator Synoptic Data are partnering to deliver real-time Mode-S-derived aircraft weather data via Synoptic’s API services. Under the deal, Synoptic is expanding its aircraft-based observations offering by leveraging FlightAware’s historical and predictive aviation information platform—dubbed Firehose—to deliver globally derived temperature and winds aloft data.

By using Mode-S-derived weather data from tens of thousands of flights daily across the globe, Synoptic provides enhanced vertical weather profile information to improve weather forecast accuracy. This increases the amount of available aircraft weather data by as much as 400 percent in some situations, according to Synoptic.

In addition to direct use in aviation operations, weather data collected from aircraft provides important inputs to both global and regional numerical weather predictions (NWP). Thus, the additional FlightAware Mode-S-derived data going to Synoptic will help to increase weather model accuracy and ultimately lead to better forecasts.

“The drop in air travel due to Covid has dramatically reduced the volume of critical airborne observations worldwide, impacting NWP weather forecast accuracy by as much as 30 percent,” said Synoptic president Steve Woll. “This partnership provides an important additional source of vertical wind and temperature data that will have a direct impact on NWP performance, improving weather forecasts and, by extension, improving operational efficiency for all weather-impacted businesses.”