3. Data types and format

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The Meteorological Archival and Retrieval System (MARS) is the main repository of meteorological data at ECMWF. It contains terabytes of operational and research data as well as data from Special Projects.

MARS data is available to registered users in the Member States and Co-operating States (see [1]).

Free downloadable datasets can be access via ECMWF Data server.



- reanalyses from 12/1978 to 02/1994

- spectral T106 resolution with 31 vertical hybrid levels


- reanalyses from mid-1957 to 2001

- T159 spectral resolution with 60 vertical levels


- reanalyses from 01/1979 up to 3 months ago

- T255 spectral resolution with 60 vertical levels

- corrected for different models so should be consistent

- useful for long term analyses

The Re-analysis data are publicly available via http://apps.ecmwf.int/datasets/

One does not need to be an authorized user but only register.

The public ERA-40 data are not the high-resolution data, and the public ERA-Interim data are not including all fields.


Operational data - data up to 2 days ago

Contains forecasts/analysis (GRIB format) as well as observations (BUFR format) and observation feedbacks (ODB format).



- GRIB2 was implemented on 18 May 2011.

Information on the GRIB2 migration can be found here.