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Storm Hans: What you need to know about Norway’s weather warning system

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Storm Hans: What you need to know about Norway’s weather warning system
Here's what you need to know about the weather alert system in Norway. Pictured are a group of people in the rain in Bergen. Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

A red weather warning has been issued for Storm Hans, with Norway bracing for some of the most torrential rain for 25 years. We've explained Norway's weather warning system.


The worst of Storm Hans will hit Norway on Monday afternoon. A red weather warning is in place across parts of southern Norway, eastern Norway and Trødnelag county.

Red is the highest danger warnings from the Norwegian Directorate of Waterways and Energy (NVE) and the Meteorological Institute. Floods, rockslides, and landslides are all expected and major damage to property and infrastructure. The worst of the weather is expected to hit Innlandet county and the Buskerud region in Viken County.  

Below you can see the areas covered by the weather warning. 

The weather warning system explained

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET) uses three colours for its weather warnings. The first is yellow, which means challenging weather. 

When a yellow weather warning is in place, you will need to “be aware of” the conditions, and it can create challenging scenarios. Overall, the consequences of yellow weather incidents are expected to be relatively small. 

Those in the area are expected to be able to go about their business, but there may be local power outages, traffic delays, and wind which makes travelling in the mountains dangerous. 

Yellow warnings are also issued in instances where MET “expects greater consequences for far more people, but are unsure whether the weather will actually occur.”


For this reason, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute says that people should monitor the situation when a yellow warning is in place. 

Orange alerts are for when serious weather situations may occur, and the public is advised to “be prepared”. 

These weather warnings are issued when the institute expects extensive consequences, which could endanger lives and valuables may be lost. When an orange warning is in place, roads will be closed, planes will be grounded, and people will need to assess whether it is safe to carry out activities or not. 

Like yellow warnings, an orange weather warning can be issued when even more extreme weather is expected, but it isn’t 100 percent certain it may arrive. 

When extreme weather scenarios are expected, a red weather warning is issued. When a red weather warning is issued, the public is advised to secure their valuables. During red weather, it is “very likely there will be widespread damage, travel and power disruption and even risk to life,” according to Norwegian forecasting site Yr.


The system for determining the risk of avalanches is slightly different. Norway follows the international standard for avalanches, meaning there are five danger levels, ranging from low avalanche danger to very high. 

These are colour coded from green to red. Yr, a joint service run by public broadcaster NRK and MET. Yr only displays orange and red avalanche warnings (danger level three to five). 


Where to check forecasts

The most popular service for checking the weather in Norway is “Yr” The service is run by the Meteorological Institute and NRK. 

You can either head to the website or download the app on IOS or Android to use the service. 

You will receive warnings of adverse weather conditions there. On the website, you can check specifically to see whether there are any weather warnings across Norway.

On varsom, you can find information on floods, landslides and avalanches. 

If you have an activity planned with a guide, such as off-piste skiing or hiking, you should also speak to them about conditions. The same applies to local tourist offices due to their local knowledge and expertise. 


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