The distinctive feature of the atmospheric circulation was an intensification of the Arctic anticyclone during spring and summer, which caused a southward shift of Atlantic cyclone tracks and prevalence of northerly and easterly winds over the Barents Sea.
The Atlantic Water temperature was higher than the average throughout the year of 2008, but colder than in the previous two years. The positive temperature anomalies gradually decreased from January-March to August-September, and then increased again during the autumn.
In the coastal waters, negative temperature anomalies (the coldest for the last 10 years) were registered in September 2008. Throughout the year, the ice cover was below average, but still more than in 2007. The Atlantic water inflow in 2008 was much as in 2007: Moderate during winter, strongly decreased during spring and close to the average in early summer.
The Atlantic Water temperature in 2009 is expected to decrease from the very warm year of 2008, and further decrease towards average temperatures in 2010.In the same period the ice cover is expected to increase although it is likely to still be below average.