The story of the wild reindeer herds in the Eastfjords
If you were planning a road trip today you might want to reconsider. The Icelandic Meteorological Office has issued a yellow weather alert for all of Iceland. Storm or gale force winds and snowfall will make driving extremely challenging or dangerous. Drivers are warned to expect powerful gusts of wind, especially in South East Iceland, which can blow cars off the road.
The Road and Coastal Authority has warned that several heath roads have already become impassable due to snow, including Holtavörðuheiði heath, which connects West and North Iceland. Blowing snow and blizzard conditions will create very poor visibility and driving conditions, both in mountain passes and on the low-land roads.
Dangerous driving conditions
Travellers are cautioned to expect a winter storm today, snow and northerly or northeasterly gale force wind with strong windgusts. The storm is expected to hit West, South West and South Iceland around noon or early afternoon, and continue until early tomorrow morning. Snowfall and blowing snow, coupled with powerful winds will create blizzard conditions with low visibility. Ice and slick patches on roads add to dangerous driving conditions.
The IRCA has issued a warning for South East Iceland, effective from noon, warning that people not travel along the Ring Road in the western foothills of Öræfajökull glacier due to violent winds. Blizzard conditions near Skaftafell visitor center in Vatnajökull National Park and violent gusts of 40-45 m/s (90-100 mph) across the cross the road make traveling in the region extremely dangerous. The weather in the region will not improve until early Wednesday morning.
Winds in South and West Iceland can also be a serious threat to travellers. The IMO is expecting sustained windspeeds of 18-23 m/s /33-51 mph), with individual windgusts reaching above 30 m/s (67 mph).Such wind can be hazardous for vehicles, especially those vulnerable to wind such as buses, RVs or cars pulling travel campers.
Travellers are warned that powerful windgusts are most likely near mountains. On the Ring Road in West Iceland Mount Esja, north of Reykjavík and Hafnarfjall east of the town of Borgarfjörður, as well as the southern shore of Snæfellsnes are particularly dangerous. On the Ring Road in South Iceland the Eyajföll mountain range, south of Eyjafjallajökull glacier is known for especially dangerous winds during storms like this.
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