High Waves and Exceptionally Strong Winds

From Vestmannaeyjar islands, yesterday.

From Vestmannaeyjar islands, yesterday. Photo/Morgunblaðið/Óskar Pétur Friðriksson

Vala Hafstað

There was high surf and big waves near Vestmannaeyjar islands yesterday, when a severe weather system moved across Iceland, Morgunblaðið reports. The forecast called for waves of up to ten meters (33 ft) yesterday, as well as today.

Unusually strong winds were recorded yesterday morning, such as on Reykjanesbraut road (the road between Reykjavík and Keflavík International Airport), where the largest wind gust measured 43 m/sec and the wind speed (meaning average wind speed during ten minutes) was 31.2 m/sec. In Tíðaskarð in Hvalfjörður fjord, West Iceland, a wind gust of 65 m/sec was recorded, and one in Vatnsskarð eystra mountain pass, East Iceland, measured 60.7 m/sec.

At 5 am yesterday, there was a severe or violent storm at nearly all weather stations in the capital area. According to Guðrún Nína Petersen, meteorologist at the Icelandic Met Office, the wind speed was exceptional. “A few years ago, I calculated how strong winds could be expected at various weather stations every five or ten years, based on statistics,” Guðrún states. Yesterday morning, the wind speed at numerous weather stations in Southwest Iceland exceeded what can be expected in a decade. “Such events are rare,” she notes.

Guðrún adds that the timing of the severe weather in Southwest Iceland couldn’t have been better, since it hit in the middle of the night, when most people were asleep. 




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