ERA5 Reanalysis Monthly Means

Please note: Please use ds633.1 to access RDA maintained ERA-5 Monthly Mean data, see ERA5 Reanalysis (Monthly Mean 0.25 Degree Latitude-Longitude Grid), RDA dataset ds633.1. This dataset is no longer being updated, and web access has been removed.

After many years of research and technical preparation, the production of a new ECMWF climate reanalysis to replace ERA-Interim is in progress. ERA5 is the fifth generation of ECMWF atmospheric reanalyses of the global climate, which started with the FGGE reanalyses produced in the 1980s, followed by ERA-15, ERA-40 and most recently ERA-Interim. ERA5 will cover the period January 1950 to near real time, though the first segment of data to be released will span the period 2010-2016.

ERA5 is produced using high-resolution forecasts (HRES) at 31 kilometer resolution (one fourth the spatial resolution of the operational model) and a 62 kilometer resolution ten member 4D-Var ensemble of data assimilation (EDA) in CY41r2 of ECMWF's Integrated Forecast System (IFS) with 137 hybrid sigma-pressure (model) levels in the vertical, up to a top level of 0.01 hPa. Atmospheric data on these levels are interpolated to 37 pressure levels (the same levels as in ERA-Interim). Surface or single level data are also available, containing 2D parameters such as precipitation, 2 meter temperature, top of atmosphere radiation and vertical integrals over the entire atmosphere. The IFS is coupled to a soil model, the parameters of which are also designated as surface parameters, and an ocean wave model. Generally, the data is available at an hourly frequency and consists of analyses and short (18 hour) forecasts, initialized twice daily from analyses at 06 and 18 UTC. Most analyses parameters are also available from the forecasts. There are a number of forecast parameters, e.g. mean rates and accumulations, that are not available from the analyses. Together, the hourly analysis and twice daily forecast parameters form the basis of the monthly means (and monthly diurnal means) found in this dataset.

Improvements to ERA5, compared to ERA-Interim, include use of HadISST.2, reprocessed ECMWF climate data records (CDR), and implementation of RTTOV11 radiative transfer. Variational bias corrections have not only been applied to satellite radiances, but also ozone retrievals, aircraft observations, surface pressure, and radiosonde profiles.

NCAR's Data Support Section (DSS) is performing and supplying a grid transformed version of ERA5, in which variables originally represented as spectral coefficients or archived on a reduced Gaussian grid are transformed to a regular 1280 longitude by 640 latitude N320 Gaussian grid. In addition, DSS is also computing horizontal winds (u-component, v-component) from spectral vorticity and divergence where these are available. Finally, the data is reprocessed into single parameter time series.

Please note: As of November 2017, DSS is also producing a CF 1.6 compliant netCDF-4/HDF5 version of ERA5 for CISL RDA at NCAR. The netCDF-4/HDF5 version is the de facto RDA ERA5 online data format. The GRIB1 data format is only available via NCAR's High Performance Storage System (HPSS). We encourage users to evaluate the netCDF-4/HDF5 version for their work, and to use the currently existing GRIB1 files as a reference and basis of comparison. To ease this transition, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the netCDF-4/HDF5 and GRIB1 files, with as much GRIB1 metadata as possible incorporated into the attributes of the netCDF-4/HDF5 counterpart.

To Access Resource:

Questions? Email Resource Support Contact:

  • Dave Stepaniak
    UCAR/NCAR - Research Data Archive

Temporal Range

  • Begin:  2008-01-01T00:00:00Z
    End:  2017-12-31T23:00:00Z


Resource Type dataset
Temporal Range Begin 2008-01-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Range End 2017-12-31T23:00:00Z
Temporal Resolution N/A
Bounding Box North Lat N/A
Bounding Box South Lat N/A
Bounding Box West Long N/A
Bounding Box East Long N/A
Spatial Representation N/A
Spatial Resolution N/A
Related Links

Related Resource #1 : ECMWF ERA5 Catalogue

Related Resource #2 : ECMWF Climate Reanalysis at Copernicus

Additional Information N/A
Resource Format NetCDF4 (Binary)
WMO_GRIB1 (Binary)
Standardized Resource Format GRIB
Asset Size 5048508 MB
Legal Constraints

Use of this dataset is subject to UCAR's Terms of Use, except that commercial use is generally not prohibited.

Access Constraints Registration on the RDA web site is a requirement for access to the data.
Software Implementation Language N/A

Resource Support Name Dave Stepaniak
Resource Support Email
Resource Support Organization UCAR/NCAR - Research Data Archive
Distributor NCAR Research Data Archive
Metadata Contact Name N/A
Metadata Contact Email
Metadata Contact Organization NCAR Research Data Archive

Author European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Publisher Research Data Archive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Computational and Information Systems Laboratory
Publication Date 2017-10-06
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Alternate Identifier ds630.1
Resource Version N/A
Topic Category climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
Progress onGoing
Metadata Date 2024-01-03T15:11:53-07:00
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.rda::ds630.1
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. (2017). ERA5 Reanalysis Monthly Means. Research Data Archive at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Computational and Information Systems Laboratory. Accessed 22 May 2024.

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