On Friday, the remote seaside village of Bakkagerði in Borgarfjörður eystri experienced temperatures that would be notable in the summer months in Northeast Iceland, let alone the winter. A high of 17.6°C [63.7°F] was recorded in the village just after midnight on Friday, mbl.is reports. Only sixteen hours before, around 8:00 am on Thursday, temperatures along the fjord had hovered just below 0°C [32°F].
Temperatures also reached off-putting highs elsewhere in the East Fjords. Seyðisfjörður had the second highest temperature in the country on Friday morning: 17.3°C [63.14°F]. The heatwave only lasted briefly. For about six hours, temperatures of around 15°C [59°F] were measured in the region before falling to under 10°C [50°F] in the afternoon.
Friday also marked 104 years since the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Iceland. The winter of 1917-18 is known in Iceland as Frostaveturinn mikla, the Great Frost Winter. During this terrible winter, temperatures plummeted and sea ice formed around Iceland, closing off vital shipping routes and exacerbating existing shortages of vital goods. The month of January 1918 was particularly devastating, and on January 21, temperatures plummeted lower than they ever had or have done since: -24.5°C [-12.1°F] in Reykjavík, and, in Northeast Iceland, -36°C [-32.8°F] at Grímsstaðir and -38°C [-36.4°F] at Möðrudalur.