Yellow and Orange Weather Alert Across Iceland

weather warning Jan 25 2022

Westerly and southwesterly gale force winds will blow across Iceland today, reaching speeds of 28 metres per second in some regions. The Icelandic Met Office has issued yellow and orange weather alerts across the country. The storm front will move eastward throughout the day and weather is expected to improve this evening in West Iceland and early tomorrow morning in the east of the country.

The winds will carry both rain and snow, as temperatures are expected to hover just above freezing throughout the country. Snowfall is expected across most of the country today, including the west, northwest, and eastern regions. Wind speeds will range between 20-28 metres per second in most regions, though gusts can reach speeds of 38 metres per second in West Iceland today.

Under Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull glaciers in South Iceland, gusts are expected to exceed 40 metres per second. Travel is not advised.

Orange Weather Alert for East Iceland, No Weather for Travel

The Iceland Met Office has issued an orange weather warning for the east coast of Iceland set to take effect tomorrow morning. Yellow weather alerts are also in place for northwest Iceland tomorrow.

Northwest strong gale or storm force wind(20-30m/s) are expected in the eastern half of Iceland tomorrow morning, and a blizzard is forecasted in the northeast. Conditions are expected to be worst in the east fjords where wind gusts can go up to 45 m/s and residents of the area are asked to secure loose objects to avoid wind damage. There will be no weather to travel in East Iceland tomorrow.

North West Iceland

North gale or strong gale with snow (Yellow)

9 Jan. at 01:00 – 08:00

Northwest gale or strong gale, 15-23 m/s, with snow and blowing snow. Poor visibility is expected with difficult driving conditions.

North East Iceland

Northwest blizzard (Orange)

9 Jan. at 03:00 – 12:00

Northwest strong gale 20-25 m/s with snow and blowing snow, blizzard conditions at times. Poor visibility is expected and travelling is not advised.

Northwest gales with snow showers (Yellow)

9 Jan. at 12:00 – 17:00

Northwest gale or strong gale, 15-23 m/s, with light snow showers and blowing snow. Poor visibility is expected with difficult driving conditions.

Eastern coastal areas

Northwest blizzard (Orange)

9 Jan. at 03:00 – 18:00

Northwest strong gale or storm, 20-28 m/s, with snow and blowing snow. Poor visibility is expected and travelling is not advised.

Northwest gales or strong gales with snow showers (Yellow)

9 Jan. at 18:00 – 10 Jan. at 01:00

Northwest gale or strong gale, 15-23 m/s, with light snow showers and blowing snow. Poor visibility is expected with difficult driving conditions.

East fjords

Northwest storm or violent storm (Orange)

9 Jan. at 03:00 – 18:00

Northwest storm or violent storm, 23-30 m/s, with wind gusts over 45 m/s. Snowshowers and possibly blowing snow with poor visibility. Loose objects outside need to be secured and flying debris can be dangerous. Travelling is not advised.

Northwest strong gales (Yellow)

9 Jan. at 18:00 – 10 Jan. at 01:00

Northwest 18-25 m/s and wind gusts exceeding 35 m/s. Light snow showers and possibly blowing snow. Loose objects can be blown away. Difficult travelling conditions.

South East Iceland

Northwest storm or violent storm (Orange)

9 Jan. at 04:00 – 17:00

Northwest storm or violent storm, 23-30 m/s, with wind gusts over 45 m/s. Possibly blowing sand. Loose objects outside need to be secured and flying debris can be dangerous. Travelling is not advised.

Northwest gales or strong gales (Yellow)

9 Jan. at 17:00 – 21:00

Northwest 15-25 m/s and wind gusts exceeding 35 m/s, strongest wind in the east part of the region. Possibly blowing sand locally. Loose objects can be blown away. Difficult travelling conditions.

Central highlands

Northwest blizzard (Orange)

9 Jan. at 02:00 – 16:00

Northwest strong gale or violent storm, 20-30 m/s, with snow and blowing snow, blizzard conditions likely. Less precipitation in the south part of the region. Poor visibility is expected and travelling is not advised. Moderating earlier in the westernmost part of the region.

 

ICE-SAR Responded to Nearly 800 Calls in One Day

Search and Rescue volunteers deal with storm damages

Iceland’s Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) teams responded to 763 calls on Friday, all before 6.00pm, while the country was on red alert during a punishing bout of extreme weather. Mbl.is reports that just over 800 individuals, including volunteer members, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, took part in the day’s emergency operations.

A few instances were reported of the wind tearing roof plates off buildings and bus stop shelters from the ground, requiring search and rescue volunteers to weigh them down to prevent further damage. In spite of the extraordinary number of calls, however, only a few notable injuries were reported, such as a man in Hvalfjörður who was hit by a roof plate that had been blown loose. He was then transported to the hospital in Reykjavík.

In addition to ICE-SAR teams, an estimated 200 additional workers spent the day trying to minimize infrastructural damage caused by the storm, for instance by maintaining and repairing power line poles.

The storm brought with it wind gusts of as much as 71 metres per second (159 miles per hour) and dangerously high tides which surged over residential streets in Keflavík and caused flooding in the South Iceland town of Garður. By Friday evening, the red alert was lifted by the Icelandic Met Office, but an orange warning is still in effect for the whole country. At the time of writing, parts of the south coast were still without power and some were without hot water, but capital area services were returning to normal with the city buses running again and healthcare clinics and post offices reopened. Road closures in the south had been lifted for the most part, but roads in the north and Westfjords remained closed.

Yellow Weather Alert Issued for Reykjavík Area Tomorrow

The Icelandic Met Office has issued a yellow weather alert for the Greater Reykjavík Area tomorrow, January 4. Orange and Yellow weather alerts will also be in effect in most parts of the country tomorrow, excluding parts of North East Iceland. 

As indicated on the Met’s web site, a yellow weather alert will be in effect in the Greater Reykjavík Area from 9 am to 2 pm tomorrow. The Met Office predicts a southeast gale or a severe gale, with wind speeds between 15-24 m/s. Routes that lead out of the city – Kjalarnes, Hellisheiði, Reykjanesbraut – are expected to be extremely windy with violent gusts. There is a high likelihood of poor visibility and snowfall. The storm is expected to pass rather quickly, but traffic delays are expected in the meantime. Travellers are advised to monitor road conditions closely, e.g. on safetravel.is

Yellow and orange weather alerts will also be in effect in other parts of the country during the following hours:

ORANGE ALERTS
South Iceland: 8 am to 3 pm
Faxaflói Bay (Southwest Iceland): 9 am to 3 pm
Breiðafjörður (West Iceland): 11 am to 4 pm
Central Highlands: 11 am to 6 pm

YELLOW ALERTS:
Westfjords: Noon to 5 pm
North West Iceland: Noon to 5.30 pm
South East Iceland: Noon to 5 pm

The Met Office’s countrywide forecast for the next 24 hours reads as follows: 

“Northerly 10-18 m/s with snow or snow showers in North- and East-Iceland. Lighter wind and becoming fair in South- and West-Iceland. Light wind and dry in all parts late in the evening. Frost 3 to 13 deg. C. Becoming southeast 18-25 tomorrow with snow at first, later rain or sleet. Turns to southwest 10-18 in the afternoon with showers of rain or sleet in the south and west parts. Becoming warmer, temperature 2 to 7 deg. C. late afternoon.”