Climate Data

NCEP Reanalysis (R2)

NCEP-DOE Reanalysis II (R2) is an improved version of the NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis I (R1). The improvements include an updated model with better physical parameterizations, assorted data assimilation errors were fixed and additional data were included. Still, it is still a 'first generation' product.

Key Strengths:

  • Improved version of NCEP-NCAR (R1)

Key Limitations:

  • Still a 1st generation reanalysis
  • Low spatial and temporal moisture variability over oceans (mainly model 'first guess' fields)
  • poor Southern Hemisphere

Technical Notes

Better than NCEP-NCAR (R1) but still a first generation reanalysis. It is best to use 3rd generation reanalyses, specifically, ERA-Interim and MERRA. The CFSR has not yet been analyzed by many researchers.

Years of Record

1948/01 to 2003/07
temporal metadataID:



Sub-daily | Daily | Monthly

Data Time Period Extended?

yes, data set is extended


Spatial Resolution

2.5°x2.5° 28 levels 3 hPA top

Ocean or Land


Missing Data Flag

spatially complete

Data Assimilation Method

Model Resolution used to create reanlaysis

T62 28 levels

Model Vintage (reanalysis)


Input Data

Rawindsondes; ICOADS, station data, aircraft, satellite retrievals

Earth system components and main variables

Suggested Data Citation

NCEP_Reanalysis 2 data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at

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

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 20 Oct 2015. "The Climate Data Guide: NCEP Reanalysis (R2)." 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.