Heavy May snowfall takes Iceland by surprise

May 2nd, 2011 in Earth / Earth Sciences
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.


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.

(c) 2011 AFP

"Heavy May snowfall takes Iceland by surprise." May 2nd, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-05-heavy-snowfall-iceland.html