Weather in Iceland

Fjadrargljufur canyon, Iceland
••• Fjadrargljufur Canyon, Iceland. Anna Gorin/Getty Images
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    Average Weather in Iceland

    Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, actually has a cool, temperate climate due to the North Atlantic Current that carries Gulf Stream warming north. This warm current ensures generally higher temperatures for Iceland than in most places of similar latitude in the world. Winters in this island country are mild and windy, and the summers are cool—typical conditions for Scandinavia. There are some variations in the climate between different parts of the island: The south coast tends to be warmer, wetter, and windier than the north, and snowfall in winters is more common in the north than in the south. Known as the Land of Ice and Fire due to its many volcanoes, there is always the possibility of volcanic activity in Iceland.

    Seasonal changes in the length of days and nights create unique weather phenomena. In midwinter, there is a period of no sunlight, and darkness prevails. Those dark days and nights are a Scandinavian phenomenon called the Polar Nights. This is perfect to view the Aurora...MORE Borealis (Northern Lights). In midsummer, daylight takes over, and there is no night darkness during June and July. The name for this is the Midnight Sun.

    Iceland's highest air temperature recorded was 30.5 C (86.9 F) in 1939 on the southeastern coast. The lowest temperature was -38 C (- 36.4 F) in 1918 at Grímsstaðir in the northeast of Iceland. Temperature records for Reykjavik were 24.8 C (76.6 F) on 11 August 2004, and -24.5 C (-12.1 F) on 21 January 1918. Check the current local weather conditions in Iceland.

    Scandinavia by month offers weather information, clothing tips, and events for the month of your travel.

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    Learning More About Iceland

    Are you planning to visit Iceland? The most popular travel times for Iceland are during the summer months of May through August when you can enjoy lots of daylight hours, and in December for the winter holidays, although it will be quite dark during that time.

    Destination Iceland provides additional country-specific information, such as local hotel and dining reviews, top attractions, and event recommendations for tourists traveling to Iceland. The Reykjavik travel guide offers travel information specific to the capital city of Reykjavik.