Strong Winds & Heavy Snow Now Impacts Northern Iceland, Leaves Greenland Shivering!

Written by on August 30, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

For a solid week, I’ve been studying the models closely at what could be a rare, even historic late summer snowstorm for Iceland. The models had a low forming over the Davis Straits and swinging across Greenland, picking up bitterly cold air as it did, then deepened it on approach to Iceland late this week and weekend. That very scenario is now unfolding with temperatures falling as winds begin to howl and snow flakes fly across Iceland barren, remote North.

The accuracy of the ECMWF model has been impeccable. Little to no change has occurred in the last 5-7 days in the scenario. I felt confident all week that this would happen given the lack of change in the ECMWF’s surface/precip, 500mb, 850mb temps and snow forecast charts. All have remained a constant. The low will continue to deepen as it crosses Iceland overnight tonight after bringing heavy snow and strong winds to Greenland yesterday.

Here’s the low approaching Iceland earlier today.


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This is what it left behind.. Clear blue skies and bitter cold over the heart of Greenland.


At the time this web cam image was captured, the temperature at Summit Camp was registering -22F or -30C. That’s about as cold as it’s been so far all thanks to the cold drawn in on the backside of the low. The temperature even by mid afternoon was a brisk -17F or -27C.

Here’s Northwest Iceland now and the low remains offshore to the SW!




The ECMWF shows continued deepening of the centre into the 970s in millibars as the storm lifts north of Iceland later tomorrow. Heavy snow should continue through tonight with a strengthening northerly.

ECMWF surface/precip chart at 24 hrs (tomorrow)

Note the tightening of the isobars on the NW side of the centre which appears to drive a howling north wind coupled with heavy precip which will likely fall as snow. Also keep in find that as those northerly winds get driven in fast and furious, snow levels drop so lower elevations of the North and Northwest should see snow.

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Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Here’s the 500mb chart which shows the vigorous upper level energy.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

5,000ft temps

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Keeping an eye on the NEXT ONE! Not as bad but may bring MORE snow to the Highlands of Iceland!


As we head into next week, further areas of low pressure will track across Iceland but to the south, an Azores ridge will be the dominant aspect, allowing warmth and sunshine to bless the Southern half of the UK.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Wednesday, the ridge appears to cover the majority of the UK extending east across the North Sea to the Low Countries, Denmark

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

While the model continues to show a very unsettled end to next week, the wild look has eased some..

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Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

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