In 2019, the winter (December–March) NAO index was 2.09 that was much higher than in 2018 (0.30). Over the Barents Sea, southerly and southeasterly winds prevailed in January–March 2019, easterly and northeasterly 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 or close to the long-term average (1981–2010) in the western part of the sea in January, April and October, in the central part in January, February, April, August and December, in the eastern part in January, April and December. In June (in the east) and July (in the east and center), the storm activity was a record high since 1981.
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 dropped significantly in 2019 compared to the previous year and its annual mean value was the lowest since 2011 (Fig. 3.1.2). The air temperature in the western part of the sea was close to the long-term average (1981–2010) for most of the year; negative anomalies of −0.4 and −1.2°С were found in May and October respectively; positive anomalies of more than 1.0°C were only observed in April, September and December. The air temperature in the eastern part of the sea exceeded the average for most of the year and was close to it only in May, June, July, October and November. In the east, the largest positive anomalies (>2.0°C) were observed in January, March, April and December (Fig. 3.1.2).
Figure 3.1.2. Annual (upper) and monthly (lower) air temperature anomalies in the western and eastern Barents Sea.