Resilient Cold Spell in Iceland Skip to content

Resilient Cold Spell in Iceland

May had a warm start in Iceland but then the weather cooled with windy conditions and snowfall in the north and east of the country. The capital region also saw a drop in temperatures although it was spared from the snowfall.


Snow in west Iceland on May 1. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

“It was very warm in the beginning of May; the temperature was four degrees above average which is among the warmest periods we have seen at this time of year,” meteorologist Trausti Jónsson told Morgunbladid.

“Therefore we are taken aback when it is followed by such a cold spell. It is also becoming unusual in regard to how long it has lasted,” he added.

Jónsson explained that the cold spell is caused by coincidental air currents through the earth’s northern hemisphere. Off northern Canada there has been a lot of warm air which has pushed the cold air away and it must go somewhere.

“If it is warm somewhere at northern latitudes at this time of year it is usually the case that someone else has to pay for it,” he added. The other Nordic countries and the British Isles have also been subject to cold and stormy conditions although the spring has been warmer than here.

Rising temperatures are forecast for Iceland in the coming days but perhaps not as high as people would have liked and the snowfall might not be over, Traustason said.

“Here in Egilsstadir everything is covered in snow,” commented Thröstur Eysteinsson, divisional manager of the national forests at the Iceland Forest Service.

He believes the vorhret, as this weather condition is known, is coming to an end, although frosty nights are still to be expected.

“This is bad. There are cold temperatures all around the country and it reduces or stops the growth of trees. Damages vary depending on where the vegetation is located.” However, if it warms up, the trees might recover. “I’m hopeful,” Eysteinsson said.

Click here to read more about the crazy weather Iceland has been subject to lately.

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