The Recreational Mariner's Guide

2. Norway

Weather and Weather Forecasts



  • The solgangsbris (afternoon sea breeze) in south Norway makes for more reliable sailing conditions than in the north. 
  • The fjords and high cliffs of the west and north coasts can cause immense gusting and funnelling, making local effects of more interest to the mariner than the weather forecast. It is best to motor or motorsail well reefed down in these conditions. When anchoring it is important to assess the topography’s potential to generate strong gusting (fallvinder).  


The temperature can change drastically from year to year as we found in our two years in Norway. Our first summer was rainy and cold while the second summer was warm and sunny. (Unfortunately, we were in Svalbard for much of the sunny summer, where it was—you guessed it—rainy and cold!) 

Based on the variability of the weather, we suggest that you bring a wide range of clothing, from T-shirts to heavy-duty long underwear, and make sure to have good quality foul weather gear, gloves, hats and boots.


Online Book: Weather Reception and Analysis at Attainable Adventure Cruising

Weather forecasting in Norway is challenging due to the complexity of the weather systems, which are often fully occluded and spawning secondary low pressure systems by the time they reach Norwegian waters. In addition, local weather may be greatly influenced by terrain, with substantial changes in wind direction, precipitation and visibility.

However, despite these local variations and the fact that violent weather is unusual in the summer, it is still important to keep up to date with the weather situation.

Because of the Coastal Danger Areas and the small size of Norwegian motor and inshore fishing boats, gale warnings are issued for Beaufort Force 7. Get caught off Stattlandet in that much wind and you’ll understand why! The Beaufort Wind Scale in Norwegian


Norwegian coast radio stations broadcast navigation warnings, including gale warnings, as part of their Marine Safety Information Broadcasts. A short message is given on channel 16 and the full warning is given shortly after on the working channels. 

A local forecast is broadcast in Norwegian at 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800 and 2100 local time on the relevant working channel.


There are Navtex stations at Svalbard (A), Bodø (B), Vardø (C), Rogaland (L), Jeløy (M), and Ørlandet (N), all transmitting a 24-hour forecast on 518 KHz 6 times daily in English. As of yet, there is no transmission on 490 KHz from Norway, Sweden or Denmark.


The Norwegian Met Office

Their online weather forecast (scroll down to choose language) is a fabulous resource for both land and sea. You can access the forecast for a sea area by going to the map and clicking on the sea area you are interested in.

New for 2024 is a 21-day forecast for precipitation, temperature and frost risk.

They also offer text forecasts for land areas, coastal areas and sea areas (see below for a discussion of forecast areas).

NRK Radio

The shipping forecast is available online at NRK Radio (search on værmelding/weather forecast) and as a 24/7 recorded message on the NRK Radio app (see below for a discussion of forecast areas).


The Norwegian Met Office provides GRIBs based on their own models for the 3 days out. You can also access longer range GRIBs using a GRIB viewer such as Windy, PredictWind or LuckGrib, etc.

Broadcast Radio

Norwegian FM transmissions have been phased out and replaced by the DAB+ (digital audio broadcasting) network. 

If you can decipher spoken Norwegian, forecasts can be found as follows (see below for a discussion of forecast areas):

  • The shipping forecast is broadcast on DAB+ radio at 0545 on ch P1+ (the “senior” channel).
  • P1+ also broadcasts 24-hour regional weather forecasts at approximately 2045. 
  • On DAB+ there is a continuous small craft weather forecast, which is updated 3 times daily, available as:
    • NRK-Yr region 1 & 2, Swedish border to Kragerø (NCG Volume 2)
    • NRK-Yr region 3, Agder and Rogaland (NCG Volume 2)
    • NRK-Yr region 4, Vestland (NCG Volumes 2 and 3)
    • NRK-Yr region 6, Møre og Romsdal and Trøndelag (NCG Volume 3)
    • NRK-Yr region 7, Nordland, Troms, Finnmark and Longyearbyen (NCG Volumes 4 and 5)

BBC Radio 4 forecast is now only available at 0048 and 0520, and three times daily on weekends with an additional forecast at 1200. It is no longer on LW but on BBC sounds and FM, and UK coast radio stations when in reach.

Forecast Areas

Land and Coastal

May use counties:

  • Though Nord Trøndelag and Sør Trøndelag are merged into one county called Trøndelag, weather forecasters may still use the former terminology, referring to the old division at Setervågen, S of Folda (NCG Volume 3)
  • Finnmark is often divided into east and west at Porsangerfjorden (NCG Volume 4)

or regions:

  • ‘Østlandet’ covers the coast from the Swedish border to Kragerø (NCG Volume 2)
  • ‘Vestlandet sør for Stadt’ covers Rogaland and Vestland counties (NCG Volumes 2 and 3)
  • ‘Helgeland’ covers Nordland county south of Støtt (NCG Volume 3)
  • ‘Salten’ refers to the area between Støtt and Hamarøya (NCG Volume 4)
  • ‘Ofoten’ stretches from Nord Hamarøy to Tysfjorden, Hellemofjorden, and Ofotfjorden in to Narvik (NCG Volume 4)
  • ‘Lofoten’ and ‘Vesterålen’ are familiar terminology (NCG Volume 4)
  • and there are a lot of inland regions, which we have not defined


Based, sometimes rather loosely, on Norwegian Fishing Grounds areas. Be aware that some Norwegian areas that sound similar to those in the British shipping forecast actually cover different territory.