ERA-Interim: Notes, Questions, and Discussion

Submitted by mapr8844 on Wed, 08/17/2016 - 13:10

Note: the following three comments have been added to this page due to them not migrating during our upgrade:


Re: ERA-Interim: Notes, Questions, and Discussion

Submitted by Natalie T (not verified) on Tue, 07/12/2016 - 13:14. 

Dear all, Is acceleration due to gravity already accounted for in the vertical integral of northward/eastward water vapour flux? I didn't find mention of anything of the sort in the documentation, but didn't want to repeat the action in my analysis if it has already been done. Thank you in advance.

Re: ERA-Interim: Notes, Questions, and Discussion

Submitted by Namaoui (not verified) on Tue, 07/12/2016 - 01:58. 

Hello, Iam Beginner in Era interim , I want to know how download a frid of Era interim ? Regards

ERA-Interim: Questions

Submitted by Johanna Yepes (not verified) on Fri, 05/13/2016 - 09:33. 

Dear Era-Interim staff, I would like to ask about the units of the runoff data. I downloaded the monthly means of runoff and I can see that the units are meters but I don't know the time units for that, those are meters per day or meters per month? Thank you.

Paul Berrisford (not verified)

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:37

Dear Andrew,

From the data, you could calculate the geopotential height on the model levels and interpolate the winds to 100gpm. This would give you the most accurate answer. For calculating geopotential, see equation 2.21 in Part III "Dynamics and numerical procedures" of the ERA-Interim model documentation:

To a first approximation the near surface model levels in ERA-Interim are at a constant height above the surface. However, that approximate height is proportional to temperature (in K), so the standard atmosphere gives slightly different results to those assuming a uniform scale height, see:

With the standard atmosphere, 100m is located between levels 58 and 57, though slightly closer to 57. So you could assume the standard atmosphere and interpolate between these two levels.

If you're happy with the discrepancy due to temperature, you could just use the winds at level 57, following the result from a 7km scale height.




Andrew Kumler (not verified)

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 16:42


I am currently doing research using ERA-Interim on hub-height winds (100 meters). ERA-Interim outputs data at model levels, one of these being model level 57 (1000 mb, or 100 m agl). This assumes a surface pressure of 1013.25 mb and scale height of the atmosphere of 7 km. Would this be an appropriate level to use to assess 100 meter winds over a large geographic area, or should alternative levels be used? The wind power law can be used to calculate 100 meter winds using winds at a lower heights as well. Or should I use geopotential heights to account for changes in pressure at 100 m agl? I assume changes in geopotential at 100 m would be fairly negligible over long periods of time.



Dear Cathy,

as Paul said, there is no automatic way of checking the latest available date. The ERA-Interim release cycle is described here:



Wed, 04/12/2017 - 08:52

How can I automatically find the last date of the ERA-inerim? If I request a date past the last date, the ecmwf perl module  fails with many errors. I can look at the webpage but then I can't update automatically.


Dear Cathy,

There is no automatic way of checking the latest available date. In order to find this date, you need to look at the ERA-Interim data webpage:



Lu Sun (not verified)

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:05

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am wondering how the CAPE in ERA-Interim data be calculated? Because I want to compared the results with other reanalysis data but most of them need us to calculate CAPE individually. Some important information such as: what level should be treated us the beginning point (1000mb? 1017mb? or the surface pressure?) Thank you for your replying.


Dear Lu Sun,

There is a description of the definition of CAPE in the ERA-Interim model documentation, Part IV: Physical processes:

In particular, look at equation 5.61 in Section 5.11 Diagnostics for post processing: CAPE, which is in Chapter 5 Convection.

The calculation is done from model (hybrid sigma/pressure) level data.



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