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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:
    Name Institution
    Ting Sun Reading
    Fredrik Lindberg Gothenburg
  • 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 Comments
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 Integrated ERA5 data downloader: 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).