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"Icelandic weather." Top 5 Page for this destination Iceland Local Custom Tip by Regina1965

Iceland Local Customs: 183 reviews and 248 photos

  Sun - a big cloud, then rain, looks like a curtain
by Regina1965
  • Sun - a big cloud, then rain, looks like a curtain - Iceland
      Sun - a big cloud, then rain, looks like a curtain
    by Regina1965
  • Reykjavík weather. - Reykjavík
      Reykjavík weather.
    by Regina1965
  • Reykjavík weather. - Reykjavík
      Reykjavík weather.
    by Regina1965
  • Sunny, then a cloud with rain - 5 minutes. - Iceland
      Sunny, then a cloud with rain - 5 minutes.
    by Regina1965

What is said about Icelanders is that they never get tired of talking about the weather. Which is no wonder seeing that we very often have a kind of a sample's weather. So one never knows how to dress - in one day you can get sunshine, wind, clouds and rain, then sunshine, clouds, heavy rain again etc. So on clear and sunny days we bring a coat just in case. And we hardly ever carry umbrellas here as when it is raining, most of the time it is too windy to carry an umbrella. We could always spot foreigners here as they were carrying umbrellas ;)

There is an Icelandic word gluggavedur, meaning window-weather. This is when the sun shines and you cannot wait to go outside and then it is windy and freezing, so you flee inside again, feeling frustrated that this wonderful weather, you thought were outside, was only nice as seen from inside the house.

Iceland would be almost uninhabitable if it were not for the he warm Gulf stream which travels around the island, so the winters here are warmer than in New York.

The weather is changing here due to global warming (or that is what we think) and nowadays we have much less snow here in Reykjavík than we used to have when I was a child. There is a huge difference. And the summers are much warmer, for the past few years we have been having temperatures above 20 degrees C in the summer for many days in a row. When I was younger the highest temperatures here would be ca 14 degrees C, which was on a very good day, and the winters were long winters with heavy snow. We are very happy with this change.

When I was younger and it was sunny some shop-owners closed their shops putting up a note saying that it was closed due to it being sunny outside! This doesnt happen anymore though. I think it is in our genes to go outside when it is sunny, so that we can get some Vitamin D. I know that we get very frustrated if we cannot go outside when it is sunny, as if an invisible force were pushing us outside. So this must be a genetic thing.

The weather-bureau hardly ever gets it right as the weather is everchanging. I have made the mistake too many times of listening to the weather forecast and gone on a trip - only to be greeted with a totally different weather than was expected. I remember way back then when a lot of young people went on a camping trip in the high-lands. The weather forecast was sunny and no wind. That was far from it, it was cold and rainy, too cold for a camping trip in in the high-lands. I know it is only a forecast, but it can be irritating that it is hardly ever accurate and nobody is responsible. But my advice is to check it out anyway, nobody should go on a trip when the weather-bureau tells us a blizzard is coming. I add the website to the official Icelandic weather-bureau in English. But it has pissed me off too many times, recently saying that it was rainy and 4 degrees C outside when it was snowing and frost all day and they didn´t even change it the whole day! This example I am talking about happened in mid April and the winter tires shall by law be off before April 15th. I went to the airport (40 km away from Reykjavík) on summer tires and it snowed so much that the car skated on the road. And the weather-bureau claimed all day that it was raining and plus 4 degrees C!


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  • Updated May 6, 2011
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