Everything You Need to Know About Sea Conditions in The North, Norwegian and Barents Sea

The North, Norwegian and Barents Sea all experience many different weather phenomena due to their proximity to the Arctic, Atlantic Ocean, and European landmass - with up to 6 different airmasses colliding in this region.


For instance, certain combinations of weather and sea ice formations can make it difficult for vessels to travel through the Baltic. When the Sea of Bothnia is frozen, and the passage to the Gulf of Finland is open, it can lead to tricky ice navigation. When a low passes over Scandinavia, bringing strong N/NE winds over the Sea of Bothnia. These strong winds can cause breakaway ice moving into the path of vessels, causing navigation problems. If high pressure over Russia blocks the low, the situation can persist for some time.


Why is the region essential for the offshore industry?


Due to the highly developed nature of NW Europe, the North Sea has a high number of offshore activities occurring. These projects include oil and gas exploration and extraction, shipping, dredging, and renewable energy developments.


Both the UK & Netherlands are currently experiencing a steady ramp-up of offshore wind energy construction activities in the North Sea, with 'greener' energy alternatives required to meet the Paris Climate Agreement.


As well, the North Sea hosts several important (economic) activities, including oil and gas production, fisheries, sand and shell extraction, shipping, areas for military use, nature reserves, and recreational activities. The region, therefore, has a significant economic and environmental function for Northwest Europe.


Why is it vital to understand sea conditions?


Accurate and precise weather forecasts are a necessity in most offshore operations to reduce costs, mitigate or avoid delays and improve safety.


When operational limits are marginal, understanding the sea conditions through accurate forecasts are essential (and often required by insurers). Short to medium term forecasts (5-7 days) help with day to day running, ensuring operational limits and the safety of personnel/equipment are within bounds. Further Outlook Forecasts (15 days) give project managers, stakeholders, and decision-makers a better idea of upcoming weather events and help them mitigate potential delays.


Understanding sea conditions in the North, Norwegian and Barents Sea


To help offshore companies understand the specific weather conditions in key regions around the world, we've created The Offshore Sea Conditions Guides. It's our six-part series, explaining the key characteristics of sea conditions around the world. Each edition explores how specific conditions affect offshore operations, and what you can do to minimize the impact of these conditions on your next project.


The North, Norwegian and Barents Sea guide includes insight on key weather phenomenon in the region, including

  • Advection Fog
  • Polar Lows
  • Icing


Want to learn more? Download your copy now


Download The Offshore Sea Conditions Guides