ERA5 compared to ERA-Interim

The RDA anticipates downloading and processing a significant portion of ECMWF ERA5 beginning calendar year 2016. In response to user inquiries about the characteristics of ERA5, the following basic information from various sources has been tabulated:

Preliminary Comparison of ECMWF ERA-Interim and ERA-5 Reanalyses
Based on Core-Climax Workshop, Brussels, January 15-16, 2015,  and  "ECMWF – Computing and Forecast System", iCAS 2015, Annecy, France, September 2015 (Isabella Weger)
Start of ProductionAugust 2006
IFS1 Cy31r2
June 2015
IFS1 Cy41r1
Model InputAs in operations
(inconsistent SST)
Appropriate for Climate
(CMIP52, HadISST.23)
Model Horizontal GridReduced Gaussian and spectral coefficientsReduced Gaussian and spectral coefficients
Model Horizontal ResolutionNominally 79 km global (0.703125°)
ECMWF T255 N128 (∼512 x 256)
Nominally 31 km global (0.140625°)
ECMWF T1279 N640 (∼2560 x 1280)
Model Vertical Resolution60 levels to 10 Pa (hybrid coordinate)137 levels to 1 Pa (hybrid coordinate)
Time Period1979 to present time1979 to present time
Possible extension back to ∼1950
DisseminationMonthly (up to 3 month lag at NCAR)Monthly (up to 3 month lag at NCAR)
Daily for ERA-5T
ObservationsPrimarily ERA-40, GTS4Various reprocessed CDR5s
Radiative TransferRTTOV67RTTOV611
Analysis Method4D-Var7
1D + 4D-Var for rain
10-member ensemble 4D-VAR (EDA8)
All-sky microwave
Variational Bias CorrectionSatellite radiancesSatellite radiances, ozone, aircraft, surface pressure, radiosondes
Maximum Volume50 TB1.5 PB
1IFS, Integrated Forecast System
2CMIP5, Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5
3HadISST.2, Hadley Centre Sea Ice and Sea Surface Temperature data set version 2
4GTS, Global Telecommunication System
5CDR, Climate Data Record
6RTTOV, Radiative Transfer for TOVS, TOVS being TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder
 (originally hosting the Microvave Sounding Unit – MSU, the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder – HIRS, and the Stratospheric Sounding Unit – SSU)
74D-Var, 4-Dimensional Variational Data Assimilation
8EDA, Ensemble Data Assimilation

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