A red alert has just been issued in Northeast Iceland due to extreme weather conditions. A red alert continues to be active in Northwest Iceland, while the rest of the country faces an orange alert. Hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions are expected to worsen into the night and continue until Wednesday evening across the country. Residents and travellers in all regions are advised to avoid travel.
Hurricane force winds
The Icelandic Met Office describes Northeast Iceland’s weather conditions as “a violent north storm with hurricane force winds, 25-33 metres per second,” with heavy snow and blizzard conditions. The worst conditions are in Eyjafjörður fjord, but conditions are expected to worsen elsewhere in the region this evening. Higher sea levels are also anticipated as a result of the storm, which may cause damage to small boats in the region or cause them to be detached from docks. The same conditions are present in Northwest Iceland.
The red alert will be in force until 1.00am in Northwest Iceland and until 12.00pm tomorrow in Northeast Iceland.
Security forces on alert
The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police in collaboration with the District Commissioners in the Westfjords, Northwest Iceland, and Northeast Iceland has decided to raise the uncertainty phase to “alert phase” due to the extreme weather. Alert phase means that security forces increase preparedness and may take measures such as restrictions, closures, evacuations, and relocation of inhabitants.
Roads closures and power outages
There are currently are power outages in several areas in the northern half of the country. Route 1 is closed in both directions out of Reykjavík, with road closures widespread across the country.