Ice conditions

Normal situation Previous ice map Ice map of the previous year Icebreakers

Normal situation


Ice in the Bay of Bothnia is drifting westwards.

In the northern Bay of Bothnia, there is 20-40 cm thick fast ice in the northern archipelago. Farther out 10-30 cm thick very close ice approximately to 10 nautical miles south of Kemi 1. The ice field is in places ridged and rafted. At the ice edge there is a brash ice barrier.

In the southern Bay of Bothnia in the archipelago there is thin fast ice. Off the fast-ice edge there is in places very open ice.

In the Quark there is 10-30 cm thick fast ice, thin level ice and very close ice in the archipelago. Between Valassaaret and Nordvalen is a zone with approximately 10 cm thick very close ice.

In the Sea of Bothnia in the archipelago there is thin fast ice. Off the fast ice edge there is thin drift ice.

In the Gulf of Finland there is thin ice in the inner archipelago. In the Gulf of Vyborg and the Gulf of St Petersburg there is 10-25 cm thick fast ice. Farther out 10-15 cm thick very close ice and new ice to the line Halli - Schepelevski.

Icebreakers: Kontio and Otso assist in the Bay of Bothnia.

Restrictions to navigation: Minimum ice class and deadweight required of assisted vessels:
Tornio, Kemi, Oulu, Raahe, Rahja, Kokkola, Pietarsaari and Vaasa, IA and IB of more than 2000 tons.
Kaskinen, Loviisa, Kotka and Hamina, I and II of more than 2000 tons.

Alterations to the restrictions:

Minimum ice class and deadweight required of assisted vessels from 31st January:
Tornio, Kemi and Oulu, IA of more than 2000 tons.

Vessels bound for Gulf of Bothnia ports in which traffic restrictions apply shall, when passing Svenska Björn, report their nationality, name, port of destination, ETA and speed to ICE INFO on VHF channel 84. This report can also be given directly by phone +46 31 699 100.

Vessels bound for Finnish or Swedish ports with traffic restrictions in the Quark or the Bay of Bothnia shall, 20 nautical miles before Nordvalen Lighthouse, report in accordance with the instructions for winter navigation to Bothnia VTS on VHF channel 67.

The reference map can be changed by clicking on the links above the images. The different maps show the average (= normal) ice conditions (1965-1986) for the period in question, the ice chart of the preceeding week, the corresponding ice chart for the previous year, and the current location of Finnish icebreakers.

The Baltic Sea Now pages display a simplified map of the sea areas by Finland. This map is updated weekly, by Tuesday morning at the latest. The map shows the areas covered by ice and the thickness of smooth ice in these areas. In addition, the map includes isometric displays of temperature gradients by area.

When the Baltic is not covered by ice, the maps show the surface water temperatures in the sea areas and the corresponding temperatures from the previous year. During ice-free periods, the maps are updated irregularly.

More information

Explanation of map's finnish words

  • jäätä: ice
  • vettä: water
  • normaalitilanne: normal situation
  • ahtauma: ice ridge
  • haurasta: rotten ice