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Bad weather

Level Contributor
3 posts
3 reviews
Bad weather


We are going to Iceland in a few days, and it seems that the weather has been quite bad lately - according to weather.com it has been raining every day in Reykjavik and it's meant to do so for the foreseeable future. One of the things we were planning to do were a hike around hot springs in the Hengill area and a hike on a glacier. If rain is forecast, is it even worth bothering? Is there a more accurate forecast available locally?


London, United...
Level Contributor
33,690 posts
85 reviews
1. Re: Bad weather

"No such thing as bad weather - only innappropriate clothing".

Not many people go to Iceland for the good weather. If you have decent gear, you can walk in rain.

This site is probably one of the best - updated throughout the day.


Level Contributor
153 posts
1 review
2. Re: Bad weather

The rain showers come and go,with periods of sunshine between the showers.It also has been quite windy at times and an umbrella would do you no good.

It did rain hard for a few hours last night after 8 PM,so a good rain proof jacket would be advisible.If the hiking area is mostly rocky the surface will be fine,most of the snow has melted in lower area .Non rocky area are now very muddy and slick.

Level Contributor
838 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Bad weather

On the average we have rather nice weather this week. It always looks worse in the forecasts.

Hiking in Hengill is possible in any weather and soaking in the hot stream will be such a treat. Just bring gaiters as the path may be muddy.

Not sure about glaciers. I would go there only on a really bright day

Level Contributor
39 posts
4. Re: Bad weather

We are going this week too.

Are we likely to need ski jackets and padded ski type trousers when walking anywhere? We are doing the south and Gulfoss/ geysir area. If not what about cagoul and over trousers for rain?

Level Contributor
97 posts
40 reviews
5. Re: Bad weather

Hi we were in Iceland last week and wore long johns and ski pant/jackets more everywhere (Gulfoss, Geysir, vik etc...)

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
10,570 posts
149 reviews
6. Re: Bad weather

Like Matrix we were there last week and the weather was very bright and sunny but bitterly cold. Gulfoss, Geysir etc are on the edge of the highlands so the weather can be very different to Reykjavik. Take lots of layers and make sure they are wind and waterproof.

The weather can change very quickly so be prepared.

Have a great trip

Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
1,325 posts
24 reviews
7. Re: Bad weather

I have been in Reykjavik since Thursday morning. The weather, for Iceland, has been excellent for early April.

Having said that, excellent for Iceland means rain, wind, cloud, sun all in varying degrees in varying amounts. Forget about the forecast, unless they have severe storm warnings posted. There is no way to accurately forecast the weather here, as there are so many divergent influences.

If you want to know what to pack, then pack full rain gear, as it will rain sometime during your stay. Unless you are willing to wait 1-5 hrs for the shower to pass, have full rain protection.

Then be ready for it to end as soon as it began, by layering down to something more appropiate.

I drove from Reykjevik this morning, with low grey cloud and heavy rain. When I came back 6 hrs later, it was a nice sunny day. If you had rain gear on in the morning, you were OK, but to have that on when the sun came out, you would have been overwhelmed by the heat of the sun.

Again, forget the forecast. Prepare for rain and cold winds, but be able to remove layers when the sun comes out, and it turns nice.

This is Iceland weather. This is how it is.

Forget the forecast, and be prepared for every bit of what it offers. That is part of the free experience of the natural beauty of Iceland. It doesn't run according to schedule or forecast. You get what you get. So be prepared and enjoy every minute of it.

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,690 posts
85 reviews
8. Re: Bad weather

I was there in May once. Without thermals and waterproof overtrousers I would have froze.

Take the right gear and enjoy.

Level Contributor
3 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Bad weather

Thanks, everyone, for your advice. We have just come back from Iceland and we were actually very lucky with the weather. It was sunny on 3 days out of 4, which made activities like sightseeing in Reykjavik, hiking on the Sólheimajökull glacier, or swimming in the Blue Lagoon very enjoyable. That said, waterproof jackets and trousers, warm hats, gloves and lots of layers came in very handy, especially when visiting the different waterfalls (Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss) where the falling water was blown around by the wind. You can try to stay on the dry side of each waterfall but the wind will still get you unless you have good, warm clothing! On the one non-sunny day when we did the Golden Circle tour it must have been around -10 degrees C with the wind chill.

One observation is that the weather forecast from the Icelandic Meteorological Service (http://en.vedur.is/) seemed to be quite accurate for the following 24 hours - although not any farther out.

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
143 posts
11 reviews
10. Re: Bad weather

I just got back from Iceland and found that the precipitation forecast (…vedur.is/weather/…precip) was pretty accurate - more so than the "regular" weather forecast on the same website.

Basically, every morning I checked the precipitation forecast and headed out to the area that looked the driest. For the most part, this worked out well and we managed to avoid the worst of the rain. We even managed to find quite a lot of sun on supposedly bad weather days.

No idea if this was a fluke but it worked for me!