A yellow weather alert will be in effect for northeastern Iceland from late Saturday afternoon and until early Sunday morning. Iceland Review spoke to a meteorologist at the Icelandic MET Office yesterday to inquire about the storm – and the inordinate number of lows that have passed through Iceland this winter.
(The interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
“Is it finally over?”
“Are the storms finally over?” I inquire, in a tone of hollow hopefulness, of meteorologist Óli Þór Árnason with the Icelandic MET Office.
Thursday saw yet another yellow weather warning in the capital area (my mother-in-law’s flight to Ísafjörður was cancelled).
“Well, no, that’s the simple answer,” he replies. “We’ll have another low front Saturday evening, and it’ll last into the morning. The weather will be quite divided. You’ll have sharp southerlies and warm temperatures to the east – exactly what you’d like to see here in the south, to get rid of the snow, you know? – and then you’ll have slow-moving northerly winds in the south and west of the country.”
“Hmmm,” I say, taking notes.
“It’ll be black and white – and I’ll let you decide which part is black and which part is white.”
“Thank you so much for that, for respecting independent journalism. Listen, doesn’t this bother you?”
“Yes, no, you know I’d like to see a little more spring in the weather. Less south-westerly winds and less hail. If that was the case, it wouldn’t be much of a problem.”
“You know, this is the first time in my life that the weather has really bothered me. Like really bothered me. I’m 36 years old, but for the first time in my life, I’m exasperated.”
“It was like this all the time before the turn of the century. This kind of weather was much more common back then. Probably your memory’s playing tricks on you.”
“Maybe you’re right; I was in the States from 97 to 2002 – and then in the early ‘90s as well.”
“Yes, it’s not exactly advisable, making such comparisons.”
“So, let me get this straight, none of this is bothering you at all?”
“No, I’m fine, pretty much. March can be a little tricky, but then the low fronts start subsiding. The main motor for these storms, that cold puddle just west of Greenland, which has been quite active in feeding this kind of weather, is gradually getting warmer. And you can feel it. There are changes in the air. The sun’s climbing higher.”
“But things don’t look great, in the long-term, do they?”
“You mean like global-warming?”
“Yes, that’s what I mean.”
“Well, we won’t be breeding crocodiles in Iceland anytime soon if that’s what you mean. But, yes, there’ll be more heat and more humidity. More bursts of precipitation. The best indicator of global warming is the fact that the alcohol content of certain wines is rising, because they’re growing at higher temperatures.”
“Thank you, for your time. It’s been enlightening.”
(For more updates on the weather, visit vedur.is)