A remarkably warm June in Iceland

The first six months of 2014 have been very warm in Iceland, overall the second warmest to fifth warmest of all time at stations with long measurement series. At many stations the warm anomalies have culminated in June.

 
In Stykkishólmur in W-Iceland the temperature records go back to 1845. June 2014 ranks as the warmest of the whole period. In Akureyri in the north (records back to 1882) it is the second warmest, exceeded by June 1933 with the closest possible margin, 0.1°C. The average temperature in Reykjavík in June ranks at number four (records back to 1871).


The average temperature at the station Torfur located inland in a valley near Akureyri in the north was 12.7°C. This is equal to the highest monthly average June temperature ever recorded in Iceland. The earlier instance of 12.7°C (Húsavík 1953) has been considered to be dubious because it was 0.4 degrees higher than the second highest June average in the country (Akureyri 12.3, June 1933).

This was also the warmest June ever recorded in Grímsey, an island at the Arctic Circle off the North coast of Iceland. The new record is 0.7°C higher than the earlier maximum and also almost four degrees higher than the 1961 to 1990 June average at the station. This must be considered remarkable at an oceanic site as Grímsey. The sea surface temperatures around Grímsey have also been very high. During the last week of the month the ecmwf sea surface temperature analysis showed an area near Grímsey with an anomaly of +6°C. This area was also very warm last June (2013) and highlights the general anomalous oceanic conditions off the North coast of Iceland prevailing during the last 15 years or so. Even so – this great culmination of warmth is unexpected.

June was generally on the wet side in the Western part of the country, especially in Reykjavík where the month was the second wettest in a series that extends back to 1885 – with a large gap from 1907 to 1919.

 

This was nominally the calmest month of June in the country since 1963 – but the confidence in the homongeneity of the wind speed series low when it comes to a close absolute ranking of mean speeds over a long period.

In spite of this exceptional warm conditions the absolute maximum temperature recorded in Iceland during June 2014 was "only" 23.1°C. But at the same time the temperature in the inhabited areas of the country never dropped below freezing. In the recent record (comparable station network density) this also happened in June 2003 - but before that only in June 1933 (slightly less dense network), June 1909 and 1880. The station density in 1909 and 1880 was much lower than later so these years are not quite comparable to the other three (1933, 2003 and 2014) in this respect.


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Iceland Weather blog

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Trausti Jónsson
Trausti Jónsson
Senior meteorologist at the Icelandic Met. Office. Speciality: Climatology
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