North and East Iceland Residents Prepare for Cold Spell Skip to content

North and East Iceland Residents Prepare for Cold Spell

Subzero temperatures and snowfall is forecast for north and east Iceland on Sunday and Monday. Farmers in the region are preparing to put their sheep back in and fishermen are advised to remove their lumpsucker nets.


Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.

If the cold spell hits as forcefully as predicted, mountain roads will be impassible. A storm and cooling weather is forecast for Sunday with heavy snowfall, especially in east Iceland. The weather is supposed to clear again on Tuesday, Morgunblaðið reports.

Such cold spells in spring, called vorhret in Icelandic, are not uncommon. A long period of frost and snow in the region in May last year caused trouble for nesting birds and winterkill in pastures. The cold spell of May 2006 was even worse.

Some bird species have started nesting and the nesting season has been successful so far; some chicks have even become fully-fledged.

However, a lasting cold spell might have serious consequences, “It delays the nesting among the birds that have already started and affects the others,” said Guðmundur A. Guðmundsson, animal ecologist at the Natural History Museum of Iceland.

Nesting birds can withstand two days of winter weather but not much more, he said. Lambing ewes and newborn lambs are also sensitive towards the cold spell, which is why farmers are preparing to shelter them in sheepfolds during the worst of the weather.

Click here to read about recent snowfall in Reykjavík.


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