Photo: Christer Sandum, Fritzøe Skoger

Heavy, wet snow may stick to the trees and may cause the tree-top to buckle. If it’s windy at the same time, the whole tree may topple. This is exactly what happened in 2018 and 2021, when large forest areas in southern Norway were damaged due to combined snow and wind loading.

“If it is cold and dry, the trees can handle the combination of significant snow fall and strong winds. It’s the combination of wet heavy snow and strong gusts that causes trouble”, says Bjørn Egil Nygaard, Meteorologist and senior adviser at Kjeller Vindteknikk.

Nygaard explains: “We have experience in developing climatic maps for the purposes of the development of wind farms and the electrical grid and we are using this expertise in this project. We are simulating future weather based on meteorological data and expectations for increased rainfall and wind to provide a detailed weather map for a local forestry area. “

The research project MARCSMAN studies the relation between climate changes and forest damages from several angles. Kjeller Vindteknikk’s contribution is to create computer simulations describing how climate change influences the local weather. “The idea is to provide the forest owners with the knowledge needed in order to apply mitigation measures in the most exposed and “at risk” areas, and thus, reduce the damage to the forestry.

Simulated snow load at a large area in Vestfold and Telemark, Norway. The red areas indicate wet snow weight at 100 kg/m^2.

MARCSMAN (Maximizing the Resilience and Carbon Sequestration in Managed Norway Spruce Stands) is a research project with the following contributers: Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi (NIBIO), Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet (NMBU), Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (SLU), Institut Européen de la Forêt Cultivée (IEFC), Meteorologisk Institutt, Statskog SF, Fritzøe Skoger and Norconsult of which Kjeller is a department.

A more detailed article can be found on Norconsult’s website (in Norwegian):

For more information on this project please contact Bjørn Egil Nygaard,