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Weather in Iceland - best month to visit

Raleigh, North...
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Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Hello, if there's a native Icelander out there, can you comment on which of the months (May, June, Sept. or Oct.) are the best in terms of lack of rain, good weather conditions, etc?

It seems like the busiest tourist months are May and June, but I've also read airfare, hotels, etc. are cheaper Sept. and Oct. Just trying to determine which of the four months would give us the best chances of good weather (given the volatile weather conditions Iceland can experience).

thanks,

Andy

Reykjavik, Iceland
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1. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Hi there.

The weather in Iceland is unpredictable (I have been in a snow storm in June but that is very unusual).

I would say the best chance of good weather in Iceland is between June 15 and August 15.

California
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23 posts
2. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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I've been planning a trip in early September and haven't actually found the prices to be lower. It looks like they do get lower after September 15th or so, and certainly in October.

London, United...
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3. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Often, prices are cheaper when weather is worse..

You might as well save the money and go when cheapest as the weather might oblige better then, than if you go when it is supposed to be best.

Even in the best months, you'll need 4-season clothes.

enjoy,

Peter

(not a native Icelander)

Raleigh, North...
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59 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Thanks for all the replies. From what all of you are saying, it sounds like the weather is going to be hit or miss no matter when we go. Guess we'll just cross our fingers and pack a ton of clothes :)

Andy

Scunthorpe, United...
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5. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Andy,

Another non-native but one who did try to research weather before a recent trip.

In terms of rainfall May and June tend to be the driest months followed by July.

The weather, as others have said, is unpredictable. One ranger told us 'Iceland doesn't have a climate, it has samples of weather'. The truth of this was shown on the next two days in the same area when - in early June - one day saw 20° and a duststorm, the next 1° and snow. That year late May had seen bad snow in the north-east.

The nearer you are to the solstice in June the longer the days will be.

When we were there in early June the season was starting and seemed to really get going in mid-June.

So for my money it would be early June.

But what you haven't said is what you want to do and where. A number of roads in the interior will be closed until fairly late in the year. In fact when we were there the road to Dettifoss (an ordinary road, not an F road) did not open until well into June because of the May snow.

Reykjavik
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156 posts
6. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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When I landed in the capital of Sweden, 1st of May 1994 it was -2 C° and a snowstorm. Snow in late may and june in Iceland as well as Scandinavia, is extremely rare, but not so rare in the highlands. It is about as the change that snow falls in London in April (which it did last April), as having snow in Reykjavik in May. I mean it can happen, everything can happen really. It is not the norm that snow is in may or june, otherwise it would be completely arctic and my elm, aspens, rowans and other trees in my garden wouldn't survive. To remind people who don't know it that southern and western part of Iceland have temperate mild oceanic climate. The temperature in Iceland has risen in last 10 years. Between 1930-1965 the weather was very mild, had good summers and relatively mild winters. During the early 1970's it changed. The summers got more cool and wetter and the winter got colder. This "iny tiny ice age" ended in 90's. This summer was record summer for temperature in many places. F.ex. the temp reached 26 C° in Reykjavik!!! The earlier record from agust 2004 was 24,5 C°. The temperature reached 29,8 C° in Þingvellir National Park. The average temperature in the southern part of Iceland during July (which is the warmest month) is around 11-13 C°. In northwestern, extreme northern pennisulas and eastern Iceland the average temp in july is around 8-12 C°, coldest on the extreme northernmost pennisulas and in the highlands or the interior of the country. The mildest part of Iceland is extreme south, and there it is rather rare to have snow, especially for prolonged periods. There, the grass can be green in march. The coldest month in Iceland is january but in some location, especially north, february is the coldest. The mean temp for Reykjavik in january which is the coldest month is around 0 C°, but in the extreme south the mean temperature in january is +2-3 C°, which is comparable with locations in northern England. The rainest month in October but the driest is May in some location with up to 260 sunhours. The spring is often very sunny. I remember April 2000, when the sun shined every day from 5th of April to the 25th of April. The wettest part of Iceland is near mountains of the Southeast with up to 4000mm a year but the driest is the Mývatn area with 250-350 mm a year.

If you don't like cold weather, end of June - early July is nice period to come. Then the nights are still 24 hours and the temperature is 12-20 C° or even higher sometimes.

Raleigh, North...
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7. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Well, we're just starting to get our itinerary together, but some places/areas that look pretty amazing are Gullfoss waterfall, Godafoss Falls, Thingvellir National Park, Namaskard, Eldhraun Skaftafell National Park. We have know idea where these are located yet, so we may be overextending ourselves hahaha. Once we get a map of Iceland, we'll get a better handle on what we can hit in 10 days.

Thanks,

Andy

Reykjavik, Iceland
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2,927 posts
52 reviews
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8. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Here are some free maps and guides ....

http://www.heimur.is/world/

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
59 posts
13 reviews
122 helpful votes
9. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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FrozenBaz, thank you VERY much for that link. That is a goldmine of info. We're even more pysch'd about going now.

Andy

Reykjavik, Iceland
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2,927 posts
52 reviews
67 helpful votes
10. Re: Weather in Iceland - best month to visit
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Pleased it helped ...

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