Wind kinetic energy climatology and effective resolution for the ERA5 reanalysis

Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
ERA5 represents the state of the art for atmospheric reanalyses and is widely used in meteorological and climatological research. In this work, this dataset is evaluated using the wind kinetic energy spectrum. Seasonal climatologies are generated for 30 degrees latitudinal bands in the Northern Hemisphere (periodic domain) and over the North Atlantic area (limited-area domain). The spectra are also assessed to determine the effective resolution of the reanalysis. The results present notable differences between the latitudinal domains, indicating that ERA5 is properly capturing the synoptic conditions. The seasonal variability is adequate too, being winter the most energetic, and summer the least energetic season. The limited area domain results introduce a larger energy density and range. Despite the good results for the synoptic scales, the reanalysis' spectra are not able to properly reproduce the dissipation rates at mesoscale. This is a source of uncertainties which needs to be taken into account when using the dataset. Finally, a cyclone tropical transition is presented as a case study. The spectrum generated shows a clear difference in energy density at every wavelength, as expected for a highly-energetic status of the atmosphere.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2022) Open Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. This work is supported by the Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute of the Complutense University of Madrid and funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy under the following research projects: PID2019-105306RB-I00 (IBER-CANES), CGL2016-78702 (SAFEFLIGHT), PCIN-2016-080 and FEI-EU-17-16. This work is also supported by the ECMWF Special Projects SPESMART and SPESVALE.
UCM subjects
Unesco subjects