Coldest Since 1918: Record Low Recorded in Reykjavík Skip to content

Coldest Since 1918: Record Low Recorded in Reykjavík

By Erik Pomrenke

An icy Reykjavík City Pond.
Photo: Golli. The Reykjavík City Pond is completely frozen in the recent cold spell.

The coldest temperature since 1918 was recorded in Viðidalur in Reykjavík this morning, when thermometers dropped to -23°C (-9°F).

This represents the coldest recorded temperature since the particularly harsh winter of 1918.

In a statement to Fréttablaðið, Sigurður Þór Guðjónsson, a historian of climate, stated: “It’s not uncommon to see such temperatures in so-called cold-bubbles, like in Viðidalur. But in truth, it did not sustain this low for very long. It’s letting up now, but could just as easily become even colder with no wind.”

Notably, the recorded temperature in Viðidalur does not necessarily reflect conditions in parts of the capital region. Seltjarnes, for example, only dipped to -4°C (25°F).

The weather station in Viðidalur has been in operation for several years, and has measured some of Reykjavík’s coldest temperatures since it came into use.

Sigurður stated that in 1918, we know that temperatures reached -25°C (-13°F) in the city centre, meaning that temperatures in Viðidalur were likely even lower.

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