Climate Data


The ERA-15 production system generated re-analyses for 15 years (1979-1993)  using a special version of their 1995 operational data assimilation system and model. The resulting analyses include full model resolution analyses or  reduced resolution analyses and climate and statistics data. ERA-15 is the precursor to ERA-40 and ERA-Interim. It is recommended that the ERA-Interim products be used rather the ERA-15 or ERA-40.

Key Strengths:

  • Signals from El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions in the lower stratospheric temperature anomaly was well captured from the satellite radiances.

Key Limitations:

  • Excessive tropical precipitation.
  • Hydrologic budget was not 'closed'.
  • Also there was an incorrect southward shift in the ITCZ over Africa in 1987 most likely due to the assimilation and bias correction of satellite data.

Expert User Guidance

Unless it is desired to compare with previous research using ERA-15, it is recommended that ERA-Interim be used.

Years of Record

1979/01 to 1993/12
temporal metadataID:



Sub-daily | Monthly

Data Time Period Extended?

no, data set not being extended


Spatial Resolution

T106, 2.5 x 2.5

Ocean or Land


Missing Data Flag

spatially complete

Model Resolution used to create reanlaysis

T106 (1.125)

Earth system components and main variables

Data Access: Please Cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions.

Cite this page

Shea, Dennis & National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 01 Mar 2016. "The Climate Data Guide: ERA-15." Retrieved from

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.