Cold Spell Likely to Persist Well Into the Weekend, Next Week

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Following a weekend of relatively warm weather, temperatures in Iceland plummeted below 0°C on Monday. Meteorologist Einar Sveinbjörnsson informed Vísir that a prolonged cold spell, caused by “pure arctic air,” would likely continue into next week.

“Voices of spring silenced”

After temperatures dropped below freezing on Monday, a Vísir reporter reached out to meteorologist Einar Sveinbjörnsson, who predicted that freezing temperatures would persist until at least this weekend.

“This is a very typical March cold spell, which we’ve seen at this time of year in recent years. Neither worse nor milder than previous cold spells. The arctic has become quite cold, and this cold air often drifts southward,” Einar Sveinbjörnsson observed.

According to Einar, the freezing temperatures are expected to persist until next weekend, with the possibility of the cold spell continuing into next week.

“It started to get cold [on the day before] yesterday, with freezing temperatures being registered throughout the country. Unlike the prolonged cold spell from last December, this current cold snap was accompanied by wind,” Einar remarked. He pointed out that the fair weather last weekend had made many people think that spring was on its way:

But it’s like that book, which marked the beginning of the environmental movement [Silent Spring]: the voices of spring fall silent – because the voices of spring certainly fell silent quite suddenly. But it would have been unnatural if we had begun to see spring-like conditions at the beginning of March. If such a thing were to become a reality, one would begin to fear the effects of climate change,” Einar observed.

Einar concluded by saying that the cold air originated from ice sheets in the arctic: “The air is also dry, not much moisture, but, first and foremost, we’ll continue to see cold weather and wind chill.”

Search Area Expanded as Missing Fisherman Still Not Found

The Coast Guard has expanded the search area in its effort to find a missing fisherman who fell overboard last Friday. A prayer service was held for the man in Grindavík on Sunday.

Most extensive search effort in years

The search continues for a fisherman who fell overboard just outside Faxaflói Bay on Friday afternoon. The man, a Grindavík resident and father of three, was a fisherman on the longline fishing boat Sighvatur GK-57, which is owned and operated by the Grindavík-based fishing company Vísir hf. The police have interviewed the ship’s captain and have deemed the incident a “tragic accident,” Vísir reports.

Read More: A Brief History of Iceland’s Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre

The search effort is the most extensive of its kind in years, Guðmundur Birkir Agnarsson, Director of Operations with the Icelandic Coast Guard, told the hosts of the radio programme Morgunútvarpið yesterday morning. On Saturday, fifteen boats participated in the search – among them the patrol ship Þór – in addition to two helicopters.

Given how many days have passed since the man fell into the sea, the Coast Guard has expanded the search area from 10 x 10 nautical miles to 18 x 18 nautical miles. Ásgeir Erlendsson, Public Relations Officer for the Icelandic Coast Guard, told Mbl.is yesterday that search conditions have been relatively good, despite not having found the man.

Prayer service in Grindavík

A prayer service was held for the fisherman in Grindavík on Sunday. Fannar Jónsson, Mayor of Grindavík, told Vísir that the community was ‘deeply saddened’ and that all they could do was wait.

According to Fannar, the prayer service was well attended, for an event such as this has an outsized effect on such a small community:

“Yes, it’s very hard. You have a big family and friends … the crew, the company, and the sailor’s family, they’re all hurting. But there’s a solidarity and a unity among the community, whenever something like this happens.”