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3.1. Meteorological Data: Download data (ERA5)


(February/2020) This plugin replaces the WATCH download plugin. To make use of this plugin you need to make additional configurations outside QGIS/UMEP (see below).


ERA5 data is adjusted to UTC = 0. This has implications for other tools in UMEP (see respective tool documentation).

  • Contributors:



    Ting Sun


    Fredrik Lindberg


  • Introduction:

    Basic meteorological variables are required for most applications in the UMEP processor. If observed data are not available for a particular location, hourly data can be retrieved from the global the Coopernicus programme and thier Climate Data Store. This plugin allows climate reanalysis data to be extracted for a specific location and period of interest (1979-2020), and transformed into formatted forcing files suitable for models within UMEP.

Variables available


Wind speed [m s-1]

10 m instantaneous

Air temperature [K]

2 m instantaneous

Specific humidity [kg kg-1]

2 m instantaneous

Pressure [Pa]

Instantaneous surface pressure

Incoming shortwave radiation [W m-2]

Average over previous 1 hour

Incoming longwave radiation [W m-2]

Average over previous 1 hour

Rainfall rate [kg m-2 s-1]

Average over previous 1 hour

  • Configuring your computer to enable download:
    • You might need to install/update the SuPy library. Follow the instruction at link (pip install supy –upgrade).
      • If your computer is not configured for downloading data from the Climate Data Store, follow the instructions here. You only need to consider the section Install the CDS API key.

  • Obtaining ERA5 data via UMEP:

    Fig. 3.1 ERA5 data downloader (UMEP for Processing): control panel

  • Running the tool:

    The downloader is separated into two sections:

    Download climate data: Retrieves ERA5 data for all variables for the location and period of interest.

    • Latitude and longitude: WGS84 co-ordinates of the study location. Data is extracted from the ERA5 grid cell that contains these co-ordinates.

    • Start time and End Time: The time range of data to be downloaded

  • Considerations:
    • Spatial resolution: The ERA5 data are provided for half-degree grid boxes. In regions with substantial heterogeneity within these grid boxes data at the grid-box scale may be not be representative of your study site (e.g. mountainous regions, urban areas).

    • Downloading long time series: The cdsapi can sometime be very busy and slow. The we recommend you to use where the same data can be downloaded at much faster speed.