Norwegian weather forecasts popular abroad

The Norwegian online weather forecasting service Yr.no had more than ten million users from more than 200 countries in the month of June! Weather forecasting could just be Norway's latest top export

Whether you are a tourist fishing in the north of Norway or a fisherman in Uganda doesn't seem to matter. They'll both look to yr.no to check the latest weather update.

The numbers show that the yr.no had 227 unique visitors from Uganda in June, and more than 161,000 unique visitors from South Africa.

When Yr was founded, however, the goal was never to make it into a worldwide weather forecasting service. Editor in Chief of NRK's online services Erik Bolstad explains that the site's purpose is to inform people in Norway about the weather at home and abroad.

"Everything else is a byproduct, but at least they're nice byproducts that cost us very little," Bolstad says.

The reason for the site's booming popularity is that it offers its free forecasting service from many different places online. As opposed to other providers, Yr has chosen to make their data accessible to as many people as possible.

"Since we have been financed by the state budget, we feel that the users have already paid the service fees through their taxes," says government meteorologist John Smits.

(And for those who wonder what the "abbreviation" yr stands for, it is actually a Norwegian word, and means light "drizzle")

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