The Icelandic Met Office’s warning of a southwest strong gale wind with an average speed of more than 20 m/s will be valid for North Iceland until noon today. The highest wind speed last night of 40.7 m/s was measured at Ennisháls in Strandir, the eastern West Fjords, while squalls exceeded 50 m/s in Southwest Iceland.
“The wind power will gradually decline as the depression moves further away from us to the north and the air pressure starts rising,” explained meteorologist Helga Ívarsdóttir to ruv.is. “The wind should have dropped below gale level at noon or in the afternoon.”
The storm seen from Reykjanesbraut highway close to Keflavík International Airport. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.
All domestic flights have been canceled due to turbulence. The situation will be reevaluated at noon. There have also been some delays to international flights.
The storm peaked at around 11 pm last night but didn’t reach the same level as the infamous 1991 storm, with which it had been compared, Helga added.
Many events that were scheduled yesterday, including the lighting of the Christmas tree in Reykjavík, were canceled because of the storm and around 350 search and rescue volunteers were called out because of shattered windows, falling trees and flying roof slates.
The storm also caused temporary blackouts in parts of Reykjavík, visir.is reports.
Iceland Review editor and photographer Páll Stefánsson caught the above images of the storm yesterday. The full result of his outing will be published in the upcoming issue of Iceland Review magazine.
Click here to see RÚV’s video of the impact of the storm in Reykjavík last night.