The Icelandic Met Office has issued a warning as rivers in West, Southwest, South and Southeast Iceland may swell as a consequence of the heavy rain that began yesterday afternoon and is expected to carry on through the early afternoon today.
Archive photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
The worst rain is pouring down on mountains and glaciers in the region with the 24-hour precipitation expected to exceed 100 mm, Morgunblaðið reports.
This may result in the swelling of rivers on Snæfellsnes and in the Hvítá area, both south and west of Langjökull, around Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull and south of Vatnajökull. The crossing of rivers in these areas may prove risky.
The Icelandic Met Office is still forecasting a storm to hit the country today in the afternoon with snowfall in altitudes above 200-300 meters in North Iceland.
Farmers in the region have tried to round up their sheep in time to prevent a similar disaster from happening as in mid-September last year when thousands of sheep were killed in an early blizzard that struck mountain pastures.
“Everyone is exhausted: dogs, horses and men,” Sæþór Gunnsteinsson, chief sheep herder in Aðaldalur, Northeast Iceland, told Fréttablaðið.
He and 20 other farmers set out on horseback on Wednesday to drive their livestock from the highlands stretching from Mývatnssveit to Kelduhverfi and down to the lowlands before the blizzard strikes, only resting during the darkest hours of night.
Their goal is to have the 5,000 sheep arrive at the Hraunsrétt sheepfold in Aðaldalur today in the afternoon and Sæþór is optimistic that they will complete the task in time.
Víðir Reynisson, department manager at the Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland, said tourists in the highlands have been warned.
“Cabin guards have systematically stopped travelers and informed them about the weather,” said Víðir, adding that there isn’t much traffic in the region where the worst weather has been forecast.
Yesterday the Civil Protection and Emergency Management alerted travelers in the highlands with a text message.
Follow the weather forecast on vedur.is.