Anonymous asked: Hi! I am travelling to Iceland in the spring. (Mid April/ end of May) I was wondering what the weather is like on average at this time? Still cold like winter..or? When is the switch for daylight/darkness? Also, is there a website I could look into local concerts or performances? Not sure where to look but I'd like to check some music out! Thx
The weather in Iceland is as unpredictable as the eruptions in Iceland. I’d dress roughly the same for any season, because you can get any weather at any time. It might even snow in June. This post may give you an idea of the weather at that time though. Before you go, check out Veður.is for the best weather info.
You can however predict the sunrise and sunset. The day is beginning to grow noticeably longer around that period. On the 1st of May, sunrise is at around 06:00 and sunset at 20:00 (chart).
The Reykjavik Grapevine is probably the best source for actual info on concerts and such.
Iceland is used to experiencing some pretty extreme weather, but this was a considerably stronger storm than we are used to. There are usually several strong storms that go over the country each fall, but this one was unusual in how long it took and in that it was very strong around the whole island. Houses in Iceland are built to handle both extreme weather and earthquakes, yet there was considerable damage. Roofs were blown away, cars were blown off roads and parking lots and some people were blown away. Fortunately there were no serious injuries, but plenty of broken bones as people were swept up by the wind.
The storm was caused by a particularly sharp contrast between a high pressure area over Greenland and a low pressure zone off of Iceland’s southeast coast. The highest average wind measured in Reykjavik was 38 m/s (140kmh, 74knts, 85mph) and gusts as high as 64 m/s (230kmh, 124knts, 143mph). By comparison, Hurricane Sandy topped out at 40 m/s in the US. But the weather was actually far from being worst in Reykjavik. In the north and eastern parts of the country, strong winds were combined with heavy snowfall. The highest wind measured was 70 m/s (252kmh, 136knts, 157mph), just short of the record breaking 74,2 m/s measured in 1995.
Update: Unconfirmed data from a weather station in Iceland indicates gusts of 125 m/s.
This is a view from an office window in Reykjavik.
Rescue teams were busy tying down roofs.
Out for a walk in Reykjavik.
The weather coincided with the Iceland Airwaves music festival and since guests would have to walk this path by the sea to get to Harpan, Reykjavik’s opera house, buses were used to transport guests.
This statue in the north kept a lookout during the storm.
People in the town of Blönduós received their morning paper despite the storm. The mailman simply used his snow scooter.
Volunteer rescue workers excavate snow from a fishing boat at Skagaströnd to prevent it from tipping over.
It’s not every day that tractors are picked up by gusts of winds. This tractor was parked by a farm on the south coast.
Roofs of the outhouses at the farm of Berjanes were blown off.
The town of Egilsstaðir in the east had some of the heaviest snowfall.
Truck blown off the road, just outside Reykjavik.
A trailer parked outside a house in Reykjavik exploded in the wind.
Snow in Akureyri.
If you want to see a better overview of the storm and practice your Icelandic, try watching the TV news overview. You can even see rescue teams driving people to work in their tracked snow cats. There’s also a short video showing around town in Egilsstaðir here.
Snow buried this farm in Aðaldalur.
Snow in Reyðarfjörður.
Young Petra Sigurðardóttir helps uncover the family car in Egilsstaðir.
Cartoonist, Hugleikur Dagsson, was inspired by the weather:
Maybe you’ve seen this picture of a whale blown onto land in the Reykjavik harbor. It has been passed around the internet quite a bit. Of course it is just photoshop.
Anonymous asked: Hi, I will be in Iceland in mid Dec and would like to know how far in advance I need to book tours? I am concerned about the weather and would like to wait as long as possible. We are interested in doing the Glacier Hike. Thank you for any advice.
A good tour is good regardless of the weather. In any case they become more memorable. Seeing waterfalls blown into the sky or pavement ripped up by wind is certainly something to tell the folks back home about. Being soaked to the bone makes that cup of hot chocolate tastier than ever. Also, Icelandic weather is very unpredictable and as Icelanders like to say, “If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, just wait fifteen minutes.”
That said you should be fine booking daytours a few days in advance. For glacier tours, you can usually book a bus tour like Take a walk on the ice side the night before or even the morning it leaves. Tours with smaller groups like the much better Walk through Ice and Fire tour may fill a few days in advance.
Have fun and hope you’ll be blown away.
javigonbus asked: When it start snowing in Reykjavik? I love your blog :)
The weather in Iceland is extremely hard to predict and you can get all the year’s seasons in a single day anytime of year. There are winters during which almost no snow falls in Reykjavík and there are winters when we get a lot. Typically we’ll get the first “hausthret” or fall snow/sleet sometime in October. However it is unlikely that snow will cover the ground for more than a day or so at a time until late December. But even in the coldest month, January, the average temperature is just below freezing. This means that it can rain any day. In my experience Reykjavík rarely stays snow covered for much more than a week or so at a time.
Last year we had a couple of odd days of snow in mid June. This is very unusual, but as I said, weather in Iceland is unpredictable.
Anonymous asked: Hi! I'm a photographer planning a trip around your beautiful country for fun and not so much profit, probably in late March or April of 2012. However, I am not really a fan of freezing to death or anything like that. Do you have any advice for the completely unprepared and foreign novice hiker as far as necessary equipment for the weather or general physical preparations, if I was actually intending to hike? (in case you can't tell, this plan is in the very basic stages.)
Iceland is not as cold as many might think. However, we have strong winds and plenty of rain. You should therefore get yourself familiar with layered clothing. You’ll want a good waterproof outer jacket and pants, goretex or similar. As inner layers you might choose a wool or synthetic base layer and a midweight fleece sweater in the middle. March and April can be quite cold, so a permaloft or similar jacket is very useful. Don’t skimp on the shoes. Proper hiking boots are very useful as soon as you leave Reykjavík.
There are several “foreign novice hikers” which have made not so positive headlines in recent years and I’ve spent many hours searching for them, not always with success. So be careful. Plan your trip thoroughly, get local info and always leave a detailed travel plan with a trusted contact when you leave civilization. The Icelandic Search and Rescue has created a great site about planning safe trips in Iceland.
Have fun and stay safe.