We compare daily data from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Centers for Environmental Prediction “Reanalysis 1” project with observational data obtained from the North Pole drifting stations in order to validate the atmospheric forcing data used in coupled ice-ocean models. This analysis is conducted to assess the role of errors associated with model forcing before performing model verifications against observed ocean variables. Our analysis shows an excellent agreement between observed and reanalysis sea level pressures and a relatively good correlation between observed and reanalysis surface winds. The observed temperature is in good agreement with reanalysis data only in winter. Specific air humidity and cloudiness are not reproduced well by reanalysis and are not recommended for model forcing. An example sensitivity study demonstrates that the equilibrium ice thickness obtained using NP forcing is two times thicker than using reanalysis forcing.