An unusually warm year in Iceland, 2014

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has issued its official statement of the climate in Iceland in 2014 in English. In the Eastern part of the country and in some of the northern areas as well it was the warmest year ever measured and in the rest of the country it was generally the second or third warmest, slightly exceeded by the temperature in 2003 or 1933.

It was the 19th consecutive year of above normal annual temperature in Reykjavík (vis. 1961 to 1990). The annual temperature in Surtsey, 7.2°C is the highest annual mean temperature ever registered at an Icelandic weather station, exceeding the temperature at the same site in 2010 by 0.1°C.

In spite of the high temperatures the weather was changeable and often dull. The first months of the year were especially wet in the North and East and the weather was difficult. In the west it was very dry at the same time with favorable weather conditions. The summer was warm and considered fine in the North and East but in the south it was very wet and dull. The autumn was fine, November extraordinarily warm, but the year ended with an unruly and a rather cold December.

The precipitation in 2014 was above normal at most stations, as was the number of days with precipitation. Snow was light in Reykjavík, as generally in the South and West. Snow covered the ground in Reykjavík for 41 days during 2014, 24 days less than average. The snow was heavy in Akureyri in and covering the ground for 133 days during the whole year 2014, 16 days more than average.

There was less sunshine in Reykjavík and Akureyri than during the recent years, about 100 below the 1961 to 1990 average at both locations and 200 below the average of 2004 to 2013.

The average sea level pressure in Reykjavík was 1001.7 hPa, 4.2 hPa below the average 1961 til 1990. In the long term it is rather low, but the annual pressure in 2011 was lower still.

The wind speed was close to the average for the year as a whole, but December and February were very windy, June was unusually calm. Easterly and Northerly winds were unusually persistent in January and February, westerly and southerly winds were prevalent in September and easterly in November.

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Iceland Weather blog


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