Hourly and monthly mean wind speed and wind speed variability from the regional reanalysis COSMO-REA6 is analysed in the range of 10 to 116 m height above ground. Comparisons with independent wind mast measurements performed between 2001 and 2010 over Northern Germany over land (Lindenberg), the North Sea (FINO platforms), and The Netherlands (Cabauw) show that the COSMO-REA6 wind fields are realistic and at least as close to the measurements as the global atmospheric reanalyses (ERA20C and ERA-Interim) on the monthly scale. The median wind profiles of the reanalyses were found to be consistent with the observed ones. The mean annual cycles of variability are generally reproduced from 10 up to 116 m in the investigated reanalyses. The mean diurnal cycle is represented qualitatively near the ground by the reanalyses. At 100 m height, there is little diurnal cycle left in the global and regional reanalyses, though a diurnal cycle is still present in the measurements over land.
Correlation coefficients between monthly means of the observations and the reanalyses range between 0.92 at 10 m and 0.99 at 116 m, with a slightly higher correlation of the regional reanalyses at Lindenberg at 10 m height which is significant only at a lower than 95 % significance level. Correlations of daily means tend to be higher for the regional reanalysis COSMO-REA6. Increasing temporal resolution further, reduces this advantage of the regional reanalysis. At around 100 m, ERA-Interim yields a higher correlation at Lindenberg and Cabauw, whereas COSMO-REA6 yields a higher correlation at FINO1 and FINO2.