Value of the Copernicus Arctic Regional Reanalysis (CARRA) in representing near-surface temperature and wind speed in the north-east European Arctic

  • Morten Køltzow Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • Harald Schyberg Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • Eivind Støylen Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • Xiaohua Yang Denmark Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
Keywords: High-resolution, weather, climate, polar low, northern Fennoscandia, Svalbard


The representation of 2-m air temperature and 10-m wind speed in the high-resolution (with a 2.5-km grid spacing) Copernicus Arctic Regional Reanalysis (CARRA) and the coarser resolution (ca. 31-km grid spacing) global European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts fifth-generation reanalysis (ERA5) for Svalbard, northern Norway, Sweden and Finland is evaluated against observations. The largest differences between the two reanalyses are found in regions with complex terrain and coastlines, and over the sea ice for temperature in winter. In most aspects, CARRA outperforms ERA5 in its agreement with the observations, but the value added by CARRA varies with region and season. Furthermore, the added value by CARRA is seen for both parameters but is more pronounced for temperature than wind speed. CARRA is in better agreement with observations in terms of general evaluation metrics like bias and standard deviation of the errors, is more similar to the observed spatial and temporal variability and better captures local extremes. A better representation of high-impact weather like polar lows, vessel icing and warm spells during winter is also demonstrated. Finally, it is shown that a substantial part of the difference between reanalyses and observations is due to representativeness issues, that is, sub-grid variability, which cannot be represented in gridded data. This representativeness error is larger in ERA5 than in CARRA, but the fraction of the total error is estimated to be similar in the two analyses for temperature but larger in ERA5 for wind speed.


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How to Cite
Køltzow M., Schyberg H., Støylen E., & Yang X. (2022). Value of the Copernicus Arctic Regional Reanalysis (CARRA) in representing near-surface temperature and wind speed in the north-east European Arctic. Polar Research, 41.
Research Articles