The Deepest Snow in Iceland Ever Skip to content

The Deepest Snow in Iceland Ever

The record for deepest snow in Iceland was set in 1995 when on March 19 the snow measured 279 cm by Skeidsfoss Power Station.

It is not easy to measure the thickness of snow in Iceland according to meteorologist Trausti Jónsson at the Icelandic Met:

1. It is quite common that the wind blows the snow into uneven layers of thick snow right next to empty spots.

2. Because the weather often heats up for a short while it is common that part of the snow freezes. This makes it more difficult to measure who thick the snow is. It is easiest to measure the thickness where the wind is relatively calm and there is now ice formation.

3. When the snow is extremely thick it is quite hard to measure the thickness. Then the thickness measurement can be off by tens of centimeters.

deep_snow_sudavik_april_2010_thordur_sigurdsson
Deep snow in Súdavíkurhlíd. Apríl 7 2010. Photo: Thórdur Sigurdsson/Iceland Met

The first regular measurements of snow thickness were made in Iceland after 1920. In the beginning measurements were only done in a few places. Even though they are more common now there are not many continuous measurements. After two very serious avalanches in the Westfjords in 1995 claimed more than 30 lives these measurements have been greatly improved. In some slopes measuring poles can be found. In many of these slopes the snow is naturally much thicker than in the regular observation stations. The same holds for glaciers, which cover one tenth of Iceland. That snow is much deeper, but in this article we are discussing snow that comes down and melts away during one year.

(Based on an article by Trausti Jónsson on the Icelandic Met web)

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