ERA5 Gaussian Grid

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Windspeeds @ 100m


ERA5 is a climate reanalysis dataset developed through the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) with the raw-data processed and delivered by ECMWF. The dataset is the successor to the popular ERA-Interim dataset - which was discontinued by end-of year 2019. The ERA5 dataset has several improvements compared to ERA-Interim:

  1. Newer modelling system
  2. More observations used in the assimilation
  3. Higher spatial horizontal resolution (around 31 km compared to 79 km)
  4. Higher spatial vertical resolution

More information is available in the windPRO Online Data release note from August 2017. A first comparison to ERA-Interim and MERRA2 is also included in this note - see here.

ERA5 and EMD-WRF Mesoscale Services
EMD has incorporated the ERA5 data in to its EMD-WRF on-demand setup and its pre-run datasets - read more here. A thorough validation of ERA5 in a EMD-WRF modelling context has been conducted and included in two technical notes covering EMD-WRF On-Demand services and EMD-WRF Europe+ pre-run mesoscale dataset.

ERA5(T) - Available in the "ERA5(T) Rectangular Grid" dataset
During early December 2019, ECMWF released the ERA5(T) dataset. ERA5(T) is preliminary ERA5 data, but updated with a shorter five calender day delay. The ERA5(T), is currently unavailable for the native, reduced Gaussian grid. This is due to technical limitations at ECMWF and at the Copernicus Climate Data Store. In windPRO, a supplementary ERA5(T) Rectangular Grid dataset is created to provide the most recent and up-to-date ERA5 data - read more at our ERA5/5T wiki-page here.

Dataset Overview

  • Content:: Renewable energy focused data subset of ERA5 - see the paramateter list below.
  • Spatial Resolution: The native model grid is a reduced Gaussian grid (T620) which has a lateral resolution of 0.28125° (around 31 km).
  • Temporal Resolution: Hourly.
  • Coverage: Coverage is global for land-areas and coastal regions. In windPRO, offshore coverage is to a distance of approximately 300 km from any known coastline.
  • Period: 30+ years - the EMD databases holds data from 1988 until present day.
  • Update Schedule: Monthly. From December 2017 ECMWF started monthly updates of ERA5. Onward, from that date, data from a new month is added every month, however with a 2-3 month delay/lag. EMD will release ERA5 in windPRO as soon as it is available, but be aware that data is released (from ECMWF) with a delay of about three months. You can always find the ECMWF release plan here. Preliminary data (ERA5T) is currently unavailable for the native/Gaussian grid data - if you need data that is near real-time - then please use the ERA5(T) Rectangular Grid data instead.


Correlation improvement, ERA5-MERRA2
First ERA5 Data Evaluation:
The hourly wind speeds from ERA5 and MERRA2 data have been compared to measured wind speeds from 108 tall meteorological masts around the globe. The masts have sensor heights ranging from about 60m to 140m. Correlations have been calculated for all sites - and ERA5 data shows a significant improvement over MERRA2 – the average correlation is increased by 0.07 and the variation is also lower. Further information in the release note, here.

Additional Data Evaluations:
In connection to evaluations of the accuracy of the EMD-WRF mesoscale data products, the raw MERRA2 and raw ERA5 reanalysis data were also included in the analysis': The results are found in two evaluation reports - one on the EMD-WRF On-Demand product and one on our EMD-WRF Europe+ dataset. Again, ERA5 performance is fount to be consistent and high-quality when benchmarking against local meteorological towers. Please consult the reports here for further details:

  1. EMD-WRF On-Demand Validation Report and
  2. EMD-WRF Europe+ Validation Report

Known Issues and Usage Notes

  • 2018-12-06:
    • Issue: Copernicus support notified users that ERA5 data downloaded throught the climate data store (CDS) was affected by an error in the u- and v- components of the pressure level winds - see error report: here.
    • Solution: ERA5 data in windPRO is not influenced by this problem: We are (currently, as of 2018) procuring data directly from ECMWF (and not the CDS) - and also distributing physical heights of 10m and 100m.
  • 2020-01-08:
    • Issue: ECMWF has released the ERA5(T) data (preliminary data) as a part of its Copernicus Climate Data Store (CDS) offerings, see here. These data are preliminary, can be used to extend the ERA5 data - and are available on a daily basis with a 5-day delay from real time. The ERA5(T) data are currently available only on a 0.25 degree rectangular lat-lon grid, so not directly compatible with the native model (Gaussian) gridded data.
    • Solution: If you need the ERA5(T) data - as of January 2020 - it is also possible to download ERA5 and ERA5(T) data in windPRO on a rectangular, geographical grid. EMD will update/ammend this dataset - ERA5 Gaussian Grid - when the ERA5(T) data become available at the native grid resolution. EMD is in dialog with ECMWF with regards to this issue, and representatives from ECMWF have confirmed that the ERA5 data will be available for the Gaussian grids also.

Data Parameters

EMD extracts a focused subset of climate-parameters from the ERA5 datasets - this subset focuses on wind-energy modelling. When the data have been processed at EMD, then the following parameters are available from within the online-data services within windPRO.

Table: Overview of the windPRO subset of ERA5 parameters.
Parameter Unit Description
time UTC time stamp
wSpeed.10 m/s Wind speed @ 10m
wDir.10 deg Wind direction @ 10m
wSpeed.10n m/s Neutral wind speed @ 10m
wDir.10n deg Neutral wind direction @ 10m
wSpeed.100 m/s Wind speed @ 100m
wDir.100 deg Wind direction @ 100m
temperature.2 deg.celcius Temperature @ 2m
dewPointTemp.2 deg.celcius Dew point temperature @ 2m
rh.2  % Relative humidity @ 2m
psfc pa Surface pressure
msl pa Mean sea-level pressure
sst deg.celcius Sea surface temperature
blh m Boundary layer height
tcc  % Total cloud cover
fsr m Forecast surface roughness
tclw kg/m2 Total column liquid water
tciw kg/m2 Total column ice water
charnock ~ Charnock
heatFlux w/m2 Instantaneous surface sensible heat flux
lowCc  % Low cloud cover
medCc  % Medium cloud cover
hiCc  % High cloud cover
eastTss N m**-2 Instantaneous eastward turbulent surface stress
northTss N m**-2 Instantaneous northward turbulent surface stress
zust m/s Friction velocity
cbh m Cloud base height
uvbAcc w/m2 Downward UV radiation at the surface
sshfAcc w/m2 Surface sensible heat flux
ssrdAcc w/m2 Surface solar radiation downwards
ssrAcc w/m2 Surface net solar radiation
ssrcAcc w/m2 Surface net solar radiation, clear sky
tisrAcc w/m2 TOA incident solar radiation
fdirAcc w/m2 Total sky direct solar radiation at surface
cdirAcc w/m2 Clear-sky direct solar radiation at surface
ssrdcAcc w/m2 Surface solar radiation downward clear-sky

Required Modules/Licenses

To access the ERA5 reanalysis data from within windPRO - the following licenses/modules are required in your windPRO setup:


When the license fee is paid, you then have access to the full dataset without further cost. Downloading of data is unrestricted for licenced users with an active service subscription, however, a "fair use" policy applies. Visit EMD online ordering to purchase the necessary licences.


If data from this dataset is used within any private or public disseminations, then EMD and its data providers must be acknowledged.

ERA5 Gaussian Grid. Distribution through EMD and windPRO - EMD International A/S, 2020.
This dataset uses ERA5 which is being developed through the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). 
Data processing and distribution for ERA5 is carried out by ECMWF.

External Links

  • ECMWF - What is ERA5 - at ECMWF - HERE
  • ERA5 Data Documentation - at ECMWF - HERE
  • ERA5 Page - at the Copernicus Climate Change Service - HERE