ERA-Interim reanalysis data and data of the Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model version 2 (HadGEM2) are compared with continuous meteorological observations of near-surface wind and temperature carried out for more than 30 years at Neumayer station, situated on the Ekstro¨m Ice Shelf of Antarctica. Significant temperature correlations between Neumayer climate and the climate of both the interior of the Antarctic continent and oceanic regions north of Neumayer are investigated using observational data and model data. Mean sea level pressure fluctuations at Neumayer can be connected to changes in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Shortcomings in the ERA-Interim reanalysis data with spurious trends of up to 7 C over 31 years are identified at several places in Antarctica. Furthermore, it is shown that katabatic winds in both the ERA-Interim reanalysis data and in the HadGEM2 climate model are underrepresented in frequency and speed, presumably due to the problems in representing topography in these relatively coarse resolution models. This may be one reason for the positive 2m air temperature bias of 3 C in the models at Neumayer station. The results of this study reemphasize that climatic trends in regions with a low station density can not be assessed solely from model data. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to maintain polar observatories such as Neumayer station to quantify climate change over the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.