What is an “Operational Weather Window”?

In offshore lifting, "operational weather window" denotes the timeframe when weather and sea conditions allow safe and efficient lifting activities. Vital in industries like oil, renewable energy, and construction, it ensures smooth installation or maintenance of heavy structures, equipment, or components.
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Key considerations within an operational weather window include:

Wind Speed:

The wind speed is a critical factor in determining whether lifting operations can proceed safely. High winds can affect the stability of the crane or lifting equipment, potentially leading to accidents or damage to the load being lifted.

Wave Height:

Sea conditions, including wave height, play a significant role in offshore lifting operations. Excessive wave heights can lead to instability during lifting, posing a risk to both personnel and equipment.

Currents and Tidal Conditions:

Strong currents or unpredictable tidal conditions can impact the positioning and stability of vessels or floating platforms involved in lifting operations.


Adequate visibility is essential for safe lifting operations, especially in situations where precise positioning is required. Poor visibility due to fog, rain, or other weather conditions can hinder the operator’s ability to carry out lifts accurately.

Environmental Factors:

Other environmental factors, such as lightning, extreme temperatures, or ice formation (in cold climates), may also influence the decision to proceed with lifting operations.
Before initiating any offshore lifting operation, project planners, engineers, and operators carefully assess weather forecasts and sea conditions to identify suitable operational weather windows. This planning helps minimize risks, ensure the safety of personnel and assets, and optimize the efficiency of the overall lifting operation.

Our Cranemaster heave compensators increase the operational weather window by dampening the relative heave motions between the crane hook and the foundation being lifted to or from. The load is kept in position regardless of vessel motion, and makes it possible to position loads accurately, even in rough weather.

This maximizes the weather window, increases operational time and decreases damage to your equipment.

Our engineering department can assist in carrying out simulations that predict the exact benefit of using a heave compensator in various weather conditions. Read more.