From 1993 to 1996, three oceanographic moorings were deployed in the north-western Barents Sea, each with a current meter and an upward-looking sonar for measuring ice drafts. These yielded three years of current and two years of ice draft measurements. An interannual variability of almost 1 m was measured in the average ice draft. Causes for this variability are explored, particularly its possible connection to changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. We found that the flow of Northern Barents Atlantic-derived Water and the transport of ice from the Central Arctic into the Barents Sea appears to be controlled by winds between Nordaustlandet and Franz Josef Land, which in turn may be influenced by larger-scale variations such as the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation.