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[1] The major pathways of near-surface Atlantic water in the northern North Atlantic and Nordic Seas are identified as current speeds above 30 cm/s, using 1014 Lagrangian drifters combined with previously published hydrography. The inflow over the Scotland-Greenland ridge and establishment of the two-branch Norwegian Atlantic Current (NwAC) are described in light of the circulation in the northern North Atlantic. The western branch of the NwAC appears as a jet in the Polar Front, topographically guided from the Iceland-Faroe Front, through the Nordic Seas toward Fram Strait. The eastern branch starts as a shelf edge current above the Irish-Scottish continental shelf, and after passing through the Faroe-Shetland Channel, it continues northward along the Norwegian shelf edge toward the Arctic, with a branch bifurcating into the Barents Sea. The NwAC appears to maintain its two-branch structure throughout the Nordic Seas, with the Atlantic water confined to a 200–600 km wide wedge.