ERA-40 stands for ECMWF Re Analysis and refers to the rerun of the European Centre of Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model for the period September 1957- August 2002 utilizing all state-of-the-art information and satellite data input presently available. From this dataset the top layer volumetric soil water is extracted and evaluated against surface moisture retrievals derived from the SMMR instrument on board the Nimbus-7 satellite for the European window. The evaluation of NWP model output with observed data is relevant to the initialization of land surface conditions in these models, which is important for accurate short term to long range meteorological and hydrological prediction. Because land surface parameters are highly integrated states, errors in land surface forcing, model physics and parameterization tend to accumulate in the land surface stores, such as soil moisture, of these models This has a direct effect on the model's water and energy balance calculations, and will eventually result in inaccurate weather predictions. It is expected that improved accuracy in defining initial conditions for NWPs along with continuous internal bias corrections for baseline data generated by uncoupled Land Surface Models (LSM), will lead to highly improved shortterm to long-range weather forecasting capability. Preliminary analysis presented here reveals the off set between the two data sets, although distinct, is relatively constant, which suggests a potential for improved initialization and bias correction by an optimized accuracy and spatial representation of the soil moisture data fields.