In 2018, the winter (December–March) NAO index was 0.30 that was much lower than in 2017 (1.47). Over the Barents Sea, southeasterly winds prevailed in January–March 2018 and westerly winds – during the rest of the year. The number of days with winds more than 15 m/s was higher than usual most of the year. It was lower than normal only in the western and central parts of the sea in January and February. In some months (May, June and September in the west of the sea, June and September – in the center as well as April, July and September – in the east), the storm activity was a record high since 1981.
For the whole year 2018, it was also a record high in the western (176 days) and central (161 days) Barents Sea.
Air temperature (http://nomad2.ncep.noaa.gov) averaged over the western (70–76°N, 15–35°E) and eastern (69–77°N, 35–55°E) Barents Sea showed that positive air temperature anomalies (relative to the base period of 1981–2010) prevailed over the sea during most of 2018, with the largest values (>4.0°C) in the eastern part in January, February and December (Fig. 3.1.2). In May and July, in the west, the anomalies were record high since 1948. Negative air temperature anomalies were observed over the Barents Sea only in March (–2.6°C in the west and –2.5°C in the east) (Fig. 3.1.2).
Figure 3.1.2. Air temperature anomalies in the western (upper) and eastern (lower) Barents Sea in 1985–2018. The red line shows monthly values, the black one – 11-month running means.