Friday, 08 April 2011 09:55
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The weather


The climate of Iceland is cold oceanic near the southern coastal area and tundra inland in the highlands. The island lies in the path of the North Atlantic Current, (The Gulf stream) which makes the climate of the island more temperate than would be expected for its latitude just south of the Arctic Circle. This effect is aided by the Irminger Current, which also helps to moderate the island’s temperature. The weather in Iceland can be notoriously variable. The aurora borealis is often visible at night time during the winter.



The average July temperature in the southern part of the island is 10–13 °C (50–55 °F). Warm summer days can reach 20–25 °C (68–77 °F). The highest temperature recorded was 30.5 °C (86.9 °F) at the Eastern fjords in 1939. Annual average sunshine hours in Reykjavik are around 1300, which is similar to towns in Scotland and Ireland.





The Icelandic winter is relatively mild for its latitude. The southerly lowlands of the island average around 0 °C (32 °F) in winter, while the highlands tend to average around −10 °C (14.0 °F). The lowest temperatures in the northern part of the island range from around -25 to -30 °C (-13 to -22 °F). The lowest temperature on record is −39.7 °C (−39.5 °F).[1]


Winds and storms

The prevailing wind direction is easterly. Westerlies are very infrequent. Generally speaking, wind speeds tend to be higher in the highlands, but topographical features can aggravate winds and cause strong gusts in lowland areas. Wind speed frequently reaches 18 m/s (59 ft/s) ; on stormy days it averages 50 m/s (164 ft/s). Heavy dust storms can be generated by strong glacial winds, and can be very strong. These storms are very frequent in the early summer in the arid highland areas north of the Vatnajökull glacier.

Thunderstorms are extremely rare in Iceland, with fewer than five storms per year in the southern part of the island. They are most common in late summertime. They can be caused by warm air masses coming up from the continent, or deep lows from the southwest in wintertime. Lightning can usually be observed in connection with ash plumes erupting from the island’s volcanoes.

(Source: Wikipedia -



Bring both shorts and a good thermal jacket. Some days you might be using both! A good pair of hiking boots and extra socks. In highland areas you should never leave camp without light raingear. Thermal underwear is recommended. For lowland or near shore workshops you can get away with less clothing but always bring a raincoat.

Iceland has usually much milder weather than people think. However there are exceptions to the rule and those exception can mean snow in july. It’s a rare event but happened for a few days in july 2009. A storm can form in a matter of minutes. Windy days with rain and just a few degrees above freezing can drain your energy in a short time.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 October 2011 01:59

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