Record Snow in Reykjavík Skip to content

Record Snow in Reykjavík

When the residents of Reykjavík woke up yesterday morning, their cars were gone. Upon closer inspection, they could be detected under the thickest blanket of snow to cover the capital since 1937, or 51 cm (20 in). The record from January 18, 1937, is 55 cm. This was also the largest snow accumulation on record for February in the capital area.

Garðastræti, Reykjavík.

Grettisgata, Reykjavík. Páll Stefánsson.

Church ministers in many churches in Reykjavík had to cancel mass, because no one would have been able to attend. Skiers, who have been deprived of snow most of the winter, were on cloud nine. Children were delighted to get a chance to go sledding, make snowmen and play in the snow. Teenagers with a driver’s license, known to sleep in every Sunday, miraculously jumped out of bed long before noon, eager to test their driving skills in the deep snow. Mothers who ventured for a ride with their young drivers had their nerves tested as the vehicles took some unexpected turns.

Snow in Reykjavík.

A street in Reykjavík. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

There was no bus service until late in the afternoon, and sidewalks took a while to be cleared, forcing pedestrians to walk in the middle of the streets. Those adults who decided to steer clear of the roads and show their skills at wading the thigh-deep snow, woke up this morning with sore muscles, reminding them that their teenage years are over.

Snow in Reykjavík.

Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Then there were those who shoveled their driveways counting more on will power than muscle power, thereby ending up in the emergency room.

Rescue workers were busy assisting commuters from early Sunday morning on, and some roads out of the capital area had to be closed.

Despite road closures and the disruptions caused by the snow, it brought a welcome change to people’s daily lives and gave them plenty to talk about.


Drone shot from Heiðmörk by Håkan Broder Lund.

Snow in Reykjavík.

Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

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