Weather For Members

What do Denmark's weather warnings actually mean?

Emma Firth
Emma Firth - [email protected]
What do Denmark's weather warnings actually mean?
Heavy snow (kraftigt snevejr) hits the Randers area in Jutland, 17 January 2024. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark's weather agency issues warnings for potentially dangerous weather, on a three-point scale. What does the weather alert system mean, and what should you do if there's a warning?


The Danish Meteorological Institute, DMI, uses three different warning categories for dangerous weather, with category 3 being the most dangerous.

The warnings could relate to severe rain or snow, icy conditions or conditions caused by a combination of things like snow drifts, which occur when strong winds move loose snow. High winds and storms can also give weather alerts, as can very hot weather.

DMI also sometimes issues alerts ahead of other, more unusual weather events like storm surges, which cause flooding.

Category 1: Severe weather (Voldsomt vejr)

Be aware that weather conditions can affect your surroundings and outdoor activities.

Category 2: Hazardous weather (Farligt vejr)

Be prepared for weather conditions to affect your surroundings and disrupt traffic. Follow the authorities' advice and be extra careful when you're out and about.

Category 3: Very hazardous weather (Meget farligt vejr)

Follow the advice of the authorities. Be prepared that there is a high risk that weather conditions may affect you and your surroundings and disrupt day-to-day activities.

This category often comes with a warning to stay at home if possible.

Key weather vocabulary to be aware of

Snow (Sne

Kraftigt snefald, snestorm, snefygning

Heavy snowfall, blizzard, snow drift

When DMI warns of a snowstorm (blizzard), you should not go outside unnecessarily. Heavy snowfall (kraftigt snefald) reduces visibility and disrupts traffic, with smaller roads at risk of being closed. There is also a risk that public transport is delayed or stops running. 

A snow drift (snefygning) can lead to the rapid closure of exposed roads, reduced visibility and public transport cancellations.

Ice (Is):
Glatføre, isslag, isdøgn
Slippery, widespread ice, ice day (a 24-hour period under freezing temperatures)
If ground ice or black ice has become widespread within a certain location or region, DMI may advise staying inside if possible.


Wind (Vind)

Orkan, storm, stormende kuling, vindstød

Hurricane, storm, gale-force winds, gust of wind

Rain (Regn):

Nedbør, kraftig regn, langvarig regn, oversvømmelser, vandstand, bølger

Precipitation, heavy rain, prolonged rain, flooding, water level, waves

Storm (Torden)

Torden og skybrud, stormstyrker, strøm, lufttryk

Thunderstorm, storm strength, power, air pressure

Fog (Tåge)

Tæt tåge

Dense fog

Temperature (Temperatur)

Havtemperatur, hedebølge, kuldebølge, tropenat

Sea temperature, heatwave, cold wave, tropical night

Where can I find out more?

You can keep up to date with DMI's current weather alerts via this link.


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