Heavy May snowfall takes Iceland by surprise

May 2, 2011
A woman stands in the snow in the center of Reykjavik. Iceland saw its first May snowfall for almost a decade over the weekend, with more than 16 centimetres falling on the capital Reykjavik, meteorologists said Sunday.

Iceland saw its first May snowfall for almost a decade over the weekend, with more than 16 centimetres falling on the capital Reykjavik, meteorologists said Sunday.

"We recorded 16,4 centimetres of in the Reykjavik area and the small town of Hvalfjoerdur (a few kilometres north of the capital) received 18 centimetres," Thorsteinn Jonsson from the Icelandic Meteorological Office told AFP.

"It's the first time since 1993 that it has snowed in May (in Reykjavik)," he said, adding that it was the second most significant May since 1987, when 18 centimetres fell on the capital.

"We did not see it coming and we were as surprised as everyone else in Reykjavik," he added.

The snow fell from Saturday evening through Sunday morning on Iceland's west coast, where "an air mass... brought temperatures below zero and turned the rain into snow," said Mr Jonsson, who said the spell looked to be over.

"This afternoon and this evening it will return to rain, and perhaps we'll wake up to summer tomorrow with some sun," he added.

Explore further: Radar used to study snow, sleet, rain

Related Stories

Radar used to study snow, sleet, rain

March 19, 2006

The University of Helsinki has acquired a state-of-the-art polarimetric weather radar to study the physics of rain clouds, snow and sleet.

Iceland fears 2nd, even larger volcanic eruption

March 21, 2010

(AP) -- A volcano in southern Iceland has erupted for the first time in almost 200 years, raising concerns that it could trigger a larger and potentially more dangerous eruption at a volatile volcano nearby.

Earth from Space: A smoke-free Iceland

June 4, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- This Envisat image features a smoke-free Iceland. Although the island has received a lot of attention in the past months for its volcanic activity, it is also home to numerous glaciers, lakes, lava and hot ...

Australia swaps summer for Christmas snow

December 20, 2010

Snow fell in Australia on Monday, as the usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, giving the country a taste of a white Christmas.

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Norezar
not rated yet May 02, 2011
Eww, snow.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 02, 2011
Ice in Iceland?
People can't remember 10 years ago?
What surprise?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.