Iceland Climate

The climate of Iceland is subarctic near the southern coastal area and tundra inland in the highlands. The island lies in the path of the North Atlantic Current, which makes its climate more temperate than would be expected for its latitude just south of the Arctic Circle. This effect is aided by the Irminger Current, which also helps to moderate the island’s temperature. The weather in Iceland can be notoriously variable.

The aurora borealis is often visible at night time during the winter. The midnight sun can be experienced in summer on the island of Grimsey off the north coast; the remainder of the country, since it lies just south of the polar circle, experiences a twilight period during which the sun sets briefly, but still has around 2 weeks of continuous daylight during the summer.

 

Average Temperatures and Rainfall

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May   Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Iceland  0°C / 32°F 0°C / 32°F 0°C / 32°F 3°C / 37°F 6°C / 43°F 9°C / 48°F 11°C / 52°F 11°C / 52°F 7°C / 45°F 4°C / 39°F 3°C / 37°F 2°C / 36°F
 50 mm / 2 in 40 mm / 1.6 in 40 mm / 1.6 in 20 mm / 0.8 in 40 mm / 1.6 in 20 mm / 0.8 in 20 mm / 0.8 in 30 mm / 1.2 in 40 mm / 1.6 in 30 mm / 1.2 in 30 mm / 1.2 in 40 mm / 1.6 in

Weather Month-By-Month

Visiting Iceland in the Winter

The average temperature in Reykjavik in January is -1°C – +1°C (30-33 Fahrenheit). But the temperature can dance anywhere from -10°c – +5°C. So, Iceland definitely isn't as extremely cold as some might imagine!

The average temperatures are usually between -3 and +3°C (26-34° Fahrenheit) in February. The weather is colder, darker and icier with more snow in the north than in the south of the country.

Visiting Iceland in the March & April

The month of March is characterized by gradually increasing temperatures - don't expect warm! As for the actual temperatures, you can expect the average low to be approximately -2.2 degrees Celsius (28 F) and the average high temperatures to be 3.3 degrees Celsius (38 F). Not much range folks.

In April the average high in Reykjavík is 7° C, with the average low being 1 ° C, and there is rain or snowfall on fewer days than in the winter. April often brings quite a variety of weather from minus temperatures to days which are quite warm, sunshine, or rain and snow.

May in Iceland is a really special time to visit. Nature is coming alive very rapidly now, spring and even early summer flowers are increasingly flourishing, the trees and grass are usually turning greener by the day. Temperatures are warmer, particularly in South Iceland, although the mercury can still drop sharply and snow can fall, this is less likely than it is in April. Early in the month snow still decorates the tops of the mountains around Reykjavík. When the sun shines the long bright days of May are so magnificent – everything just feels so vibrant and fully alive. No wonder many Icelanders say this is their favorite time of year!

Visiting Iceland in May

May in Iceland is a really special time to visit. Nature is coming alive very rapidly now, spring and even early summer flowers are increasingly flourishing, the trees and grass are usually turning greener by the day. Temperatures are warmer, particularly in South Iceland, although the mercury can still drop sharply and snow can fall, this is less likely than it is in April. Early in the month snow still decorates the tops of the mountains around Reykjavík. When the sun shines the long bright days of May are so magnificent – everything just feels so vibrant and fully alive. No wonder many Icelanders say this is their favorite time of year!

Visiting Iceland in June & July

Long days, less wind & rain and of course the most sun! The average temperature in June is 9°C or 48°F – making it the third warmest month of the year after it's friends, July and August. It really doesn't seem to be very warm but for Icelanders

The average temperature in Iceland in July is 11°C (52F) with daily averages from 9-13°C. And the most beautiful part about it, the days in July are still super bright with long daylight hours!

Visiting Iceland in August & September

Along with July, August is the warmest month of the year in Iceland. The average temperature in August in Iceland lurks around 10-15°C (50-59 F) but they do have the occasional "super-warm" summer days when the temperature can shoot to a whopping 20°C degrees!

In September, the average low temperature is 43°F (6°C) and the average high is 52°F (11°C). But Iceland is famous for its quick weather changes, so don't be surprised if one day you wake up to 25°F (about -4°C) weather or even temperatures in the high 60's (around 20°C)

Visiting Iceland in October & November

October is definitely a transition month for Reykjavik. The day length get shorter and shorter, day by day. In October the daily average temperature sits around 4°C. The lowest temperature expected is 2°C and the highest is 6°C. October expects around 30mm of rainfall and 21 days of rainfall.

November is characterized by a gradual decrease in temperature. The average high temperature is 4 degrees Celsius (40 F), with the (average) highest temperature on November 1st, only reaching slightly above 5 degrees Celsius (41 F). The month ends with an average low of 3 degrees Celsius (38F).

Visiting Iceland in the December

With the temperature ranging from -1°C to 4°C, December in Iceland is pleasantly cold and bearable. Being the darkest month, the days during this time are the shortest and nights utterly gorgeous.