Country

Iceland

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Iceland.

Current Climate Climatology

This page presents Iceland's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit.  Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for  specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.

Observed, historical data is produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of University of East Anglia. Data is presented at a 0.5º x 0.5º (50km x 50km) resolution.

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Climate Data Historical

Iceland is situated just south of the Arctic Circle. The mean temperature is considerably higher than might be expected at this latitude. Relatively mild winters and cool summers characterize Iceland’s oceanic climate. The average monthly temperature varies from -3 to +3 °C in January and from +8 to +15°C in July. Storms and rain are frequent, with annual precipitation ranging from 400 to 4000 mm on average annually, depending on location. 

Temperature

  • Since the 1980s, Iceland has experienced considerable warming, and early in the 21st century temperatures reached values comparable to those observed in the 1930s. The warmest year in the series was 2016.

Precipitation

  • Recently a precipitation records for the whole of Iceland during the last decades of the 20th century has been established using high resolution atmospheric reanalysis. The results show significant decadal variations in precipitation, and a tendency for higher amounts of precipitation during warmer decades. 
  • The long-term station records indicate that precipitation tends to increase by 4% to 8% for each degree of warming. Furthermore, several new studies suggest an increase in the precipitation intensity during the recent warming episode.
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