A cloud (artificial – a contrail, in fact) casting a shadow on the clouds above

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Reykjavík weather report

Update: The weather is so bad and the roads so blocked that the city buses have stopped running until noon and some of the routes out of the city have been closed to prevent accidents. This means it’s really bad. I’m going out to get lunch and take photos…

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Two days ago, the grass around this tree was turning green.

After weeks of such unseasonably good weather that daffodils were coming up, trees were budding and I even spotted a blooming dandelion outside my apartment building, the weather has gone back to wintry. Icy winds blasted in from the Arctic and when I woke up around 5:30 this morning the light outside my window had the soft, dirty yellow hue of street-lights filtered through a haze of snow.

The temperature was -4 °C when I set off to work, and the wind-chill has got to have been around -20 °C. Worst of all was the snow. Not the snow on the ground, but the snow drifting through the air. I have seen much deeper snow on the ground in Reykjavík, but the haze caused by falling and drifting snow is unusually bad today – very thick and blowing every which way. It almost feels like being back in Akureyri or Sauðárkrókur (not to mention Skagaströnd), where the blinding snowfall and drift can get so bad that you can’t see from one lamp post to the next.

The photo above shows the situation around 10:40 a.m., in a fairly sheltered area where the drift isn’t so bad, but the photo below shows what it was like around 7:00 a.m. It’s always difficult to show how really bad the weather is during snowfall – somehow it always comes out looking much lighter and tamer than it really is – but in this case the blurriness caused by a sudden gust of wind that made me move just when the shutter went off has worked to show how really thick the snow in the air was.

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