Lack of Rain Causes Lakes in Iceland to Dry Up Skip to content

Lack of Rain Causes Lakes in Iceland to Dry Up

The surface of lakes in the capital region is unusually low. That is also the case with lakes in west Iceland and the eastern West Fjords, according to meteorologist Ólafur Thór Árnason. He said long-standing drought is causing the lack of water and heavy rain is needed to return the water levels back to normal.


Raudavatn under normal circumstances. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

“This low water levels are simply caused by the continued heat and lack of rain,” Árnason explained to Fréttabladid.

The situation of lake Raudavatn in Reykjavík is especially striking. Árnason explained that the lake, along with other lakes in the capital region, suffer because of their high altitude. “There is little afflux so the lakes are very dependent on precipitation.”

However, lakes are usually shallow in August and September, he pointed out, adding that he doesn’t know whether the water levels are historically low since the Meteorological Office recently took over water level measuring from the National Energy Authority.

“The situation could improve soon if there are a few good days of rain. When the soil has become so dry and hard, the water flows on top of it. It first has to get properly wet before the water level can be maintained,” Árnason said.

There is outlook for rain in the near future, he added.

Click here to read about the unusually warm autumn in Iceland.

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