Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 647–666, 2011
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 647–666, 2011

Research article 25 Feb 2011

Research article | 25 Feb 2011

Verification of the new ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis over France

C. Szczypta1, J.-C. Calvet1, C. Albergel1, G. Balsamo2, S. Boussetta2, D. Carrer1, S. Lafont1, and C. Meurey1 C. Szczypta et al.
  • 1CNRM/GAME, (Météo-France, CNRS), URA 1357, Toulouse, France
  • 2European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK

Abstract. An evaluation of the global ECMWF atmospheric reanalysis ERA-Interim (with a 0.5° grid) is performed over France, based on the high resolution (8 km) SAFRAN atmospheric reanalysis. The ERA-Interim precipitation, Incoming Solar Radiation (ISR), air temperature, air humidity, and wind speed, are compared with their SAFRAN counterparts. Also, interpolated in situ ISR observations are used in order to consolidate the evaluation of this variable. The daily precipitation estimates produced by ERA-Interim over France correlate very well with SAFRAN. However, the values are underestimated by 27%. A GPCP-corrected version of ERA-Interim is less biased (13%). The ERA-Interim estimates of ISR correlate very well with SAFRAN and with in situ observations on a daily basis. Whereas SAFRAN underestimates the ISR by 6 Wm−2, ERA-Interim overestimates the ISR by 10 Wm−2. In order to assess the impact of the ERA-Interim errors, simulations of the ISBA-A-gs land surface model are performed over the SMOSREX grassland site in southwestern France using ERA-Interim (with and without GPCP rescaling) and SAFRAN. Latent and sensible heat fluxes are simulated, together with carbon dioxide fluxes. The rescaled ERA-Interim performs better than the original ERA-Interim and permits to achieve flux scores similar to those obtained with SAFRAN.