Amazing ice crystal formations in the West Fjords

Ice crystals on snow in Tungnadalur, Ísafjörður.

Ice crystals on snow in Tungnadalur, Ísafjörður. Mynd/Sigríður Sif Gylfadóttir

An unusual natural phenomenon has appeared in Ísafjörður in the West Fjords. Ice crystals measuring 1-2 centimetres have formed on the surface of the snow due to special weather conditions that combine humidity, a lot of frost and no wind. 

Only a slight breeze is needed for the crystals to fall like dominoes. 

Sig­ríður Sif Gylfa­dótt­ir who works at the Iceland Met Office avalanche centre in Ísafjörður took the accompanying photograph. She said to mbl.is that the crystals were unusually large. The photo is taken near a stream at the local camping site but Gylfadóttir added that the crystals were also forming in the town itself. 

Snow crystals such as these can reach a size of several centimetres in the right conditions, which rarely occur in Iceland due to a lot of wind. Gylfadóttir expects the crystals to grow larger over the next few days as the forecast is for continuing still weather. Rain is then expected on Thursday. 

Weather

Cloudy

Today

12 °C

Cloudy

Later today

12 °C

Light rain

Tomorrow

11 °C