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Warning: Heaviest Rain in Years

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Warning: Heaviest Rain in Years

Rain.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic Met Office issued a heavy rain warning this morning for South and West Iceland, which will be in effect through Thursday morning. Meteorologists now state that the rain will be the heaviest to hit us in years. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management is on alert status.

Meteorologis Elín Björk Jónasdóttir told RÚV, “This could be anywhere from 70-80 mm (2.8-3.1in) [of precipitation] in lower areas up to 200-300 mm (7.9-11.8 in) in the mountains, where the rain will be the heaviest. On top of that, the air is very warm, resulting in a large amount of meltwater from glaciers, and the forecast calls for more than 500 mm (19.7 in) of runoff from Eyjafjallajökull glacier once the rain ceases on Thursday.”

The risk of flooding is high, especially to the south and west of Langjökull glacier.

Inspector Víðir Reynisson, South Iceland Police, stated that preparations are underway to distribute information to the public and to travelers, in cooperation with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

Because of swelling rivers, people could get trapped in certain areas, for example around Hvítá river, South Iceland. Travelers are strongly advised against traveling to Þórsmörk, in the southern highlands, since the road to Þórsmörk is expected to be impassable until Saturday. Police will monitor sensitive areas on the Ring Road.

At a meeting of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, the Civil Protection of Árnessýsla county and the Icelandic Met Office, held at 2 pm, it was revealed that such extreme precipitation only occurs every 10-15 years. Landslides can be expected anywhere from the West Fjords to South Iceland. Roads could be damaged. Drains should be checked, since they easily clog up with fallen leaves. Travelers should by all means not attempt to cross unbridged rivers and creeks.

Follow the weather forecast at en.vedur.is.

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