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Havvarsel - Personalized ocean forecasts in a two-way data flow system

Preparing for the next generation ocean forecast services through improved technological and methodological solutions for receiving user observations, forecast model subsetting, data assimilation, and finally displaying tailored forecasts to users.

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Local forecasts of temperature in the surface layer in the Oslo fjord. Perfect for a swim by Norwegian summer standards. Image from

We all know the significance of the weather forecast in our day-to-day decision making, but for those working in close interaction with the ocean, a similar ocean forecast can be just as important. For example, search and rescue operations rely on precise predictions of drift trajectories based on the ocean currents, winds, and waves; aquaculture industry can plan feeding routines based on the forecast of the local flow conditions; and who would not like a forecast of the swimming temperatures during the summer vacation?

This researcher project aims to develop localized and personalized ocean forecasts based on the examples just mentioned. The ocean dynamics can be described by similar physical laws as the atmosphere, which means that it is possible to forecast the ocean in the same way as the weather. The main difficulty, however, is that there is a lack of observations from the ocean that can tell us from which ocean state to start the forecast.

This is why the Havvarsel project will develop web services facilitating a two-way dataflow for ocean information. The users will be able to upload ocean observations of local currents, temperature, salinity and so on. This information can then be used and assimilated into the existing ocean forecast, enabling an improved localized and personalized forecast that can be sent in return.

The project partners - SINTEF Digital, Institute of Marine Research, and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute - join forces to develop infrastructure and improved simulation tools to make localized ocean forecasts for three selected demonstrators. The demonstrators will be developed in dialog with a stakeholder group from industry, public service, and media, to ensure that the forecast information will fit the stakeholders' information needs.

Key Factors

Project duration

01/03/2020 - 31/12/2025

Project type

Researcher project


The Research Council of Norway, grant no. 310515

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