ESA’s Aeolus satellite has been returning profiles of Earth’s winds since it was launched in August 2018 – 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. 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 9 January 2020, Aeolus will be improving our forecasts, from one-day forecasts to those forecasting the weather more than a week ahead. These plots show how the assimilation of (bias corrected) Aeolus data reduces wind forecast errors (blue shading), particularly in the southern hemisphere and in the tropics, several days ahead. The 10 hPa pressure level corresponds to about 30 km altitude. Cross-hatching indicates statistical significance at the 95% level. The experiment covers the period from 2 August to 28 December 2019.