What do Norwegians mean by their “northern areas”, what do these encompass and how do they relate to the Arctic? Definitions abound, and rest on widely differing conditions – such as vegetation, temperature, latitude and national boundaries.
The far north on the NCS is characterised by big distances and little infrastructure. These conditions mean that rescue and evacuation capacity is currently limited.
The further north and west one goes in the Barents Sea, the better the weather conditions. But rapid changes, Polar lows, troughs, fog and forecasting still present plenty of challenges.
Low temperatures are one of the most prominent climate factors in the far north, reflecting the absence of direct sunlight in the winter. Wintery conditions prevail throughout the year.
The Gulf Stream normally keeps the southern Barents Sea ice-free all through the year. But icebergs have been observed as far south as the coast of eastern Finnmark.
The sun remains below the horizon all day for a limited period each winter above the Arctic Circle. This is known as the Polar darkness. But Polar night and three kinds of twilight are also experienced.