Cold and Changeable Weather in Iceland in January Skip to content

Cold and Changeable Weather in Iceland in January

January 2015 was colder than the average January in the past decade everywhere in Iceland apart from a few locations in the south. Precipitation was also frequent around the country last month, albeit not record-breaking. January was characterized by changeable weather but there weren’t many severe storms, the Icelandic Met Office concluded in its January overview.

The average temperature in inhabited areas in January was below zero for 18 days of the month. Reykjavík saw the coldest January since 2007 with an average temperature of -0.3°C (31.5°F), -1.5°C below the average of the past ten years but 0.9 °C above the average in 1961-1990, mbl.is reports.

The highest average temperature in January, 2.3°C (36.1°F), was recorded on Surtsey, Iceland’s southernmost island, but the lowest average temperature, -7.6°C (18.3°F), was on Brúarjökull outlet glacier in the northeastern Vatnajökull. The lowest average temperature in an inhabited area, -5.6°C (21.9°F), was in Möðrudalur, Northeast Iceland.

The highest recorded temperature in January, 13.6°C (56.5°F), was at Skjaldþingsstaðir, East Iceland, on January 5, and the lowest, -26.0°C (-14.8°F), at Setur in the central highlands on January 11.

The precipitation in Reykjavík was 127.3 mm, which is nearly 70 percent above the average for January. In Akureyri, North Iceland, the precipitation measured 70.5 mm, which is almost 30 percent above the monthly average.

Reykjavík saw 21 days of complete snow cover in January, while the average between 1971 and 2000 is 15 days. In January 2012, there were 24 days of complete snow cover in the capital. In Akureyri, there were 28 days of complete snow cover last month, five days above the monthly average.

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