Most people are concerned about the weather in Iceland when traveling for the first time in our country. I will try to clarify for you what to expect when coming to Iceland, depending on the season of the year.
As you might know already, the Arctic Circle runs just on the north of the island. But as it’s an isolated island and thanks to the Gulf Stream we enjoy a temperate maritime climate. To give you an idea of temperature range on the island, in 2016 the highest was registered on 3rd June, 24.9° while the lowest was -25.3° on 30th March.
However, those are extreme temperatures and generally we enjoy fresh summers (average temperatures 10° -13° from June to August) and relatively mild winters (average temperature 0°). Surprisingly our climate is much more temperate than other countries on continental Europe.
One characteristic feature of the weather in Iceland can be described with an expression “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute”. The climate here is so unpredictable and changing that I recommend you to bring a good waterproof jacket and lots of clothing layers, even for summer packing! And don’t forget your swimwear to enjoy the thermal pools. Temperatures don’t fluctuate a lot between day and night but wet windy days are the most common here. You might meet windstorms in summer and snow and blizzards during winter.
Weather in Iceland: We recommend May or June
The Midnight Sun will amaze you if traveling in summer, when the sky will never become fully dark. For example, you will see the 1st of July in Reykjavik the light outside is continued. Even if the sun sets around midnight and rises again at 3am. If you travel or stay on the North, this effect is even more pronounced, with light all over the day from May to August. On the other side, there are incredibly short winter days, but it never remains completely dark in the South. As an example, in Reykjavik in January the sun rises around 11 am and sets at 3 pm approximately. To light up those nights appear the Northern Lights, a phenomenon that you can’t miss! Spring and autumn are usually rainy and really similar, also days and nights are alike in length.
You will see a typical image of Iceland is frozen landscapes. However, snow is not very usual on the south and it melts quickly in the Reykjavik area. Snow allows winter sports and it’s an exciting attraction however it can also turn into slippery ice. You have to be aware that even if temperatures are not extreme in Iceland. Nature conditions can be hazardous all year-round. I always recommend checking the weather forecast before starting the day route. There is a weather report in English everyday in local radio – and also road conditions, you can also talk with the local and check your plans with them, there are no better advisers!