The Icelandic Met Office is forecasting deteriorating weather in North Iceland as of Friday afternoon with dismal conditions on Saturday. Winter is expected to arrive with a bang in the mountains with an equally harsh snowstorm as hit the region in mid-September 2012.
From last year’s early snowstorm. Photo courtesy of ICE-SAR.
To prevent a similar disaster from occurring as last year when thousands of sheep were trapped and killed in mountain pastures, farmers in some areas in North Iceland have decided to round up their livestock earlier than planned, Morgunblaðið reports.
“We contacted North Iceland’s chief of police who spoke with the representative of farmers. People have been discussing whether there is reason for early roundups. However, many farmers are still busy with haymaking and the forecast can still change,” said Víðir Reynisson, director of the Civil Protection Department.
The Civil Protection Department is on the alert because of the impact the weather may have on the approximately 300,000 sheep in North Iceland, most of which are roaming mountain pastures, and not least on travelers in the region.
“If nothing changes we must contact tourism operators and make sure that everyone has been warned. Some tourists were cycling in the highlands when the snowstorm hit in September last year,” said Víðir.
ICE-SAR, Icelandic search and rescue, has not laid out an emergency response plan yet but managing director of ICE-SAR Jón Svanberg Hjartarson stated that they are following the weather forecast closely.
The forecast may still improve by the end of this week but currently the outlook is worsening. Follow the weather forecast on vedur.is.