Researchers recreate European weather

A comprehensive reanalysis project will recreate the weather across Europe for the past 30 years. Precipitation, temperature, wind and air pressure, etc. are described at ground level and 30 km up in the atmosphere. The result is highly interesting for research and climate adaptation alike.

Erik Kjellström and Per Undén, researchers at the SMHI.
Erik Kjellström and Per Undén, researchers at the SMHI.

Satellite information, weather reports and many computing hours on powerful supercomputers are behind the reanalysis of weather data for the last 30 years. For four years, researchers at SMHI have worked with European researchers within the EU project EURO4M to produce this unique material. Demand is high.

“It will be the most complete dataset we have for Europe, with a full set of variables, which are based on many observations,” says Per Undén, researcher at SMHI.

Valuable when the climate changes

The three-dimensional model is also scaled down to a high resolution, two-dimensional version covering the whole of Europe. The material is extremely useful with data for every third hour and a calculation point every five kilometres.

“This is a new generation of data that describes the climate. What we have seen so far is very realistic and useful in the evaluation and further development our climate models. We can also utilise it as reference material in the analysis of climate change, as a basis for decision-makers and for climate adaptation measures,” says Erik Kjellström, director of SMHI’s climate research unit Rossby Centre.

Up to now researchers have completed 20 years of the reanalysis carried out within the European FP7 project EURO4M. SMHI will continue with the analysis of a further ten years in order to increase the usefulness of the material. The data will gradually be openly available from 2015.