Unusually high sea level pressure

An unusually intensive high-pressure system is now (28 March 2020) situated to the south of Iceland. The highest sea level pressure value (slp) observed in Iceland today was 1050.5 hPa - at the station Hjarđarland in the southern lowland. This is the highest slp observed in Iceland since 16 April 1991 (1050.8 hPa) and the second highest slp in the month of March. The record is 1051.7 hPa, measured at Vestmannaeyjar 6 March 1883. 

It should be noted that still higher values were nominally noted in the central highlands, the highest value 1054.2 hPa at the station Setur [695 m a.s.l). This high value is a result of a dubious reduction of the pressure down to sea level in light winds and very low temperature (-19°C) and will thus not be confirmed as a record value. 

Pressure values above 1050 hPa are only seldomly seen in Iceland. The record is 1058 hPa, measured in Reykjavik on 4 January 1841 (uncertainty probably about 2 hPa) and the second highest measured in Stykkishólmur 16 December 1917, 1053.3 hPa (but possibly 1054.0 hPa). There are 11 known instances of a higher value than the one reached today, 1 in April, 1 in March, 3 in February, 4 in January and 2 in December. In some of the cases the high values were measured at more than one station. 


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Iceland Weather blog

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Trausti Jónsson
Trausti Jónsson
Senior meteorologist at the Icelandic Met. Office. Speciality: Climatology
Júlí 2020
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