Information on Weather and Sea State
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration(IRCA) weather and sea state information system increases safety for seafarers and contributes to more efficient fishing. The system is based on both real-time measurements and forecasts. The IRCA website (http://www.vegagerdin.is/vs/Today.aspx?la=en) provides updated information every hour about weather and sea state, weather and sea level height in harbors, and wave height inside and outside harbors, using data from wave measurement buoys, operated by the IMA, and automatic weather stations at lighthouses and in harbors.
Besides real-time information on the weather and sea state, forecasts are also given for wave height and the weather for several days, together with, tides, tidal currents and storm surge. Forecasts for icing risks and oil spill calculations are pending. Dangerous waves are predicted from wave forecasts and risk assessments, based not only on the sea state but also on accident frequency and acceptable risk level. Stability data enable captains to assess the risk of serious danger to their vessels.
Predictions are based on weather forecasts and the ocean wave forecast from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, in cooperation with the Icelandic Meteorological Office. The entire system has been developed in close cooperation with the Icelandic Meteorological Office, engineering consultants and other parties in Iceland and overseas. Offshore wave measurements around Iceland during the last decades have confirmed the quality of the ECMWF wave forecasts.
Due to increased oil and LNG transport from Russia and Norway towards North America, international shipping routes pass Iceland for the first time in peace time. The involved tanker ship traffic passes through the Norwegian EEZ, through international waters and the Icelandic EEZ. Icelandic – Norwegian cooperation in this field is therefore important with regard to AIS, Safe Sea Net and sea state information data exchange according to European Union Directive 2002/59/EC.
Due to increased traffic, wave and weather forecasting has been extended to cover the new sailing route in the northern Atlantic from the Barents Sea to the southernmost part of Greenland. The forecasts have been extended up to five days for weather forecasts and seven days for wave forecasts updated twice a day and the resolution has been increased from 1.5° to 0.5°.
Wave forecast for the N-Atlantic. The coloured areas stand for wave height in meters and the numer stands for average wave period in seconds. The arrows stand for average wave direction.
By clicking on a specific location on the wave forecast for Icelandic waters, wave- and weather forecast will be given in a chronological order.
Tidal predition: The coloured areas stand for tides and each color means sea level change of 0,165 m. Arrows stand for current velocity and direction according to the arrow in the right hand corner.
By clicking on a specific location on the tides, forecast of tides, storm surge, sea height, tidal direction and tidal current are given in a chronological order.
Analysed ECMWF wave height at location 69°N, 09°W compared with wave measurements at location 68. 47°N, 9.4°W for the period 22.11.2007 to 17.04.2008. ECMWF data is at 6 hour interval and wave measurements data is at 20 minutes every hour. The ECMWF data is compared with the average of three hours records every six hour.