Why do we talk about the weather so much?

It is no secret that the weather plays in important part in all of our lives. In fact, in the Nordic Countries, one of the most talked about things is the weather. This small talk often leads to other subjects and is considered an ice breaker of sorts. 

 Parrstranda, Drøbak by the Oslofjord. Norway. Photo: Daniel Novello

Parrstranda, Drøbak by the Oslofjord. Norway. Photo: Daniel Novello

Scandinavians are not alone

And we are not alone. The British also have their fair share of the weather. According to recent research, 94% of British respondents admit to having conversed about the weather in the past six hours, while 38% say they have in the past 60 minutes. “This means at almost any moment in this country, at least a third of the population is either talking about the weather, has already done so or is about to do so,” says social anthropologist Kate Fox, who performed the studies in 2010 for an update of her book Watching the English. “Weather talk is a kind of code that we have evolved to help us overcome social inhibitions and actually talk to one another,” says Fox.

 A storm brewing in the South of Norway. Photo: Daniel Novello

A storm brewing in the South of Norway. Photo: Daniel Novello

The weather forecast service in Norway

Yr (means drizzle in Norwegian) is the joint online weather service from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (met.no) and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).

These two public institutions have worked together since 1923 transmitting weather forecasts to Norway and abroad.

Yr is unique in Europe because of its very detailed weather forecasts and our free data policy. Information about the free weather data service can be found here.

Yr was released in September 2007 and quickly became a popular site in Norway. A survey in June 2008, showed that 87 percent of the Norwegian population knew about Yr, and today up to 9 million use it every week.

In fact, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute is the most liked public agency in the country. 

 Frozen decorative plant in Norway. Winter 2016. Photo: Daniel Novello

Frozen decorative plant in Norway. Winter 2016. Photo: Daniel Novello

What you find in the Norwegian forecast

Yr offers weather forecasts in English (in additon to Norwegian) for around 1 million places in Norway and 10 million places worldwide.

In addition to the weather forecasts, Yr provides news and facts related to weather and climate in Norwegian.

The mobile app can be downloaded to IOS or Android and it is considered very user friendly and precise. 

 A rainy day. Photo by Daniel Novello

A rainy day. Photo by Daniel Novello

The menu is very user friendly. First is the overview. Gives a quick look at what the weather looks like the next few hours and the next two days. In the menu one can choose to have a look at the long term forecast eight days ahead. Where available, there is also a weather radar system showing how the The map shows where precipitation (rain, sleet, snow etc) falls, the colour giving an indication of the amount.

yr radar

You can also look at the statistics for a certain area. Data will vary, but can go as far back as 1870s. It is nice to check what the weather was like the day you were born or if, during an argument, no-one can remember what the summer was like last year.

 Copenhagen, spring 2016. Photo: Daniel Novello

Copenhagen, spring 2016. Photo: Daniel Novello

yr.no is highly recommended. If you are concerned about the waves before a passage, the site Barentswatch is the place to check out. Or The Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

 Barentswatch   

Barentswatch

 

BarentsWatch is a comprehensive monitoring and information system for large parts of the world's northern seas. 

BarentsWatch was established as part of the government's focus on the High North and is located in Tromsø. In 2011, the Norwegian Coastal Administration was put in charge of establishing BarentsWatch. In addition to being a separate project under the Norwegian Coastal Administration, we are also under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

By coordinating information and developing new services based on the combination of data, BarentsWatch will disseminate a better factual basis and more comprehensive picture of the activities in, and condition of, our seasand coastal areas.

The system will make relevant information and services more easily accessible for authorities, decision-makers and general users. This will simplify access to and ensure the exchange of public information.

An open part of BarentsWatch shall be an information portal available to everyone. This was launched in 2012, and is being developed incrementally. The portal has information about topics such as the climate and environment, marine resources, oil and gas, maritime transport and maritime law, among other things. 

Profile film. Read more at https://www.barentswatch.no/en/ 

In Denmark, the Defence Centre for Operational Oceanography (FCOO) is part of the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization.

They develop and distribute dual-use products for operational use by the Danish Armed Forces, especially the Royal Danish Navy. This means that the FCOO provides oceanographical, hydrographical and meteorological support in the form of data and advice which is used in support of national and international operations and exercises.

Dual use implies that the military products often can be used for civilian purposes. One such dual use service is the excellent Marine Forecast.

 Screenshot from FCOO Marine Forecast.    

Screenshot from FCOO Marine Forecast. 

 

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