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Climate & weather conditions

How icy is Iceland? You might be surprised.

Iceland enjoys a cool temperate maritime climate thanks to the Gulf Stream, but the weather is known to change quickly and often. Icelanders have a saying: “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” No matter the season, visitors should always have wind and water resistant outerwear as well as extra thermal layers on hand before heading out on excursions.

As for winter, Iceland is not all covered by ice and snow as its name would suggest. In fact, outside of the higher altitudes or parts of North Iceland, snowfall rarely stays on the ground longer than a few days. Rain is more common, with October being the wettest month. Also, the cool northerly winds can be strong at times so we recommend an insulated or down jacket for winter visits.

For those on a self-drive tour in winter, we always recommend checking on road conditions before heading out since conditions can change quickly. Please drive cautiously at all times. Roads may be slippery due to rain or frost even if they appear to be in good condition. See http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/ for current road conditions.

For up-to-date weather information, visit http://www.vedur.is or call +354 902-0600 and press '1' to hear the weather forecast in English.. For those with smart phones, a mobile app is available at http://m.en.vedur.is/m/.

Average Temperatures in Celsius (Fahrenheit):

  Reykjavík Akureyri
January -0.6 (30.9) -1.5 (29.3)
February 0.7 (33.3) -2.1 (28.2)
March 2.2 (36.0) 2.0 (35.6)
April 5.2 (41.4) 4.9 (40.8)
May 6.0 (42.8) 4.5 (40.1)
June 10.7 (51.3) 10.7 (51.3)
July 12.8 (55) 10.7 (51.3)
August 11.0 (51.8) 10.0 (50.0)
September 7.9 (46.2) 7.2 (45.0)
October 5.8 (42.4) 5.1 (41.2)
November 3.1 (37.6) 1.2 (34.2)
December 1.3 (34.3) 0.8 (33.4)

Conversion chart:

°C °F
-14 6.8
-13 8.6
-12 10.4
-11 12.2
-10 14.0
-9 15.8
-8 17.6
-7 19.4
-6 21.2
-5 23.0
-4 24.8
-3 26.6
-2 28.4
-1 30.2
°C °F
4 39.2
5 41.0
6 42.8
7 44.6
8 46.4
9 48.2
10 50.0
11 51.8
12 53.6
13 55.4
14 57.2
15 59.0
16 60.8
17 62.6

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