If You Don’t Like the Weather in Iceland, Just Wait Five Minutes

In Iceland, people are fond of saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” This popular expression is written on everything from t-shirts to coasters, and during the course of my recent visit I also found it to be true.

The notoriously changeable weather of this island nation is largely the result of its location. Situated just south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland sits at the border between the Arctic Ocean with cold air masses to the north and the Atlantic Ocean with milder air masses to the south. A branch of the warm Gulf Stream Current known as the Irminger Current also flows along the country’s southern and western shores moderating the climate. As this mild air interacts with cold arctic air, it produces frequent changes in the weather. A relatively mild, sunny day can quickly turn cold and rainy. Strong winds are also very common.

So, when in Iceland, heed the advice of the locals and be prepared for all four seasons on any given day.

Coaster for sale with the popular saying, " Welcome to Iceland. If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes." Credit/Source: Gullfoss.is

Coaster for sale with the popular saying, “Welcome to Iceland. If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” Credit/Source: Gullfoss.is

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.