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Coldest January In Decades

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Coldest January In Decades

Hallgrímskirkja's shadow on an aerial photo of Reykjavík.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The average temperature in Iceland this January was colder than it has been in the last decade, reports RÚV, although the temperature fluctuated dramatically throughout the month. At its coldest, the temperature was -25.6°c [-1408f] and at its highest, 12.5°c [54.5°f].

“The weather was changeable in January, but still pretty favorable, considering the time of year,” said Kristín Björg Ólafsdóttir, who works in the Icelandic Met Office. “We’ve gotten so used to good weather that when it gets cold again, it seems absolutely frigid.”

Although the average temperature around the country was lower than it has been for the last ten years, if a longer time period is taken into account, then last month was also above the average temperature for long periods of time.

Precipitation was also considerable in January, with above average rainfall in Reykjavík, which, in turn, lead to a great deal of ice that became thicker and more slippery, instead of ever melting completely on warm days. “...[T]he ground is always frozen,” Kristín Björg explained, “and then it rains, but it doesn’t drain completely into the ground. The rain lands on cold ground and then ice forms.” Ice-related injuries were, in fact, up in January, with nearly 100 people being admitted to the ER on a single night after slipping on slick sidewalks and roads.

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