Iceland Volcano Marathon

25 July 2020 / 24 July 2021

Climate & Weather in Iceland

Below you can read about Iceland's climate, the average weather conditions in Reykjavík and Akureyri, and what to expect on race day.

Iceland's Climate

The climate in Iceland is classified as "subarctic" in the southern coastal areas and "tundra" in the interior highlands. The climate is subject to a number of influences, such as the North Atlantic Current, the Gulf Stream (Irminger branch), and winds from the North Pole, among others. The result of these competing forces is rapidly changing weather - a day can go from bright sunshine to a snowstorm in a matter of minutes. Wind speed, precipitation, and temperature are all subject to abrupt and dramatic changes, and thus one must always be prepared in the Icelandic climate. 

In general, the climate is rather cold, and although winters are long they are more mild than one might expect thanks to the mitigating effects of the ocean and southern winds. Summer stays cool throughout Iceland. Latitude-wise, the mainland of Iceland is a few degrees shy of the Arctic Circle, so although the midnight sun does not officially make an appearance in the summer, the sun barely dips below the horizon in the middle of summer. This twilight period is known as the phenomenon of "white nights" - while the sun is below the horizon, the sky is still lit. 

 

Temperature & Precipitation

See the average temperatures and precipitation per month below in the tables. 

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Reykjavík                        
Day time temperature 2°C  /36°F 3°C  /37°F 3°C  /37°F 6°C  /43°F 10°C  /50°F 12°C  /54°F 14°C  /57°F 14°C  /57°F 11°C  /52°F 7°C  /45°F 4°C  /39°F 3°C  /37°F
Night time temperature -2°C  /28°F -2°C  /28°F -2°C  /28°F 1°C  /34°F 4°C  /39°F 7°C  /45°F 9°C  /48°F 9°C  /48°F 6°C  /43°F 2°C  /36°F 0°C  /32°F -2°C  /28°F
Precipitation (mm) 76mm  /2.99in  72mm  /2.8in  82mm  /3.2in  58mm  / 2.3in  44mm  /1.7in  50mm  /1.97in  52mm  /2.05in 

62mm  /2.4in 

67mm  /2.6in  86mm  /3.4in  73mm  /2.9in  79mm  /3.1in 

 

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Akureyri                        
Day time temperature 2°C  /36°F 2°C  /36°F 3°C  /37°F 6°C  /43°F 10°C  /50°F 14°C  /57°F 15°C  /59°F 14°C  /57°F 11°C  /52°F 6°C  /43°F 3°C  /37°F 2°C  /36°F
Night time temperature -4°C  /25°F -4°C  /25°F -3°C  /27°F -1°C  /30°F 3°C  /37°F 7°C  /45°F 9°C  /48°F 8°C  /46°F 5°C  /41°F 1°C  /34°F -2°C  /28°F -4°C  /25°F
Precipitation (mm / in) 55mm  /2.2in  43mm  /1.7in  43mm  /1.7in  29mm  /1.1in  19mm  /0.7in  28mm  /1.1in  33mm  /1.3in  34mm  /1.3in  39mm  /1.5in  58mm  /2.3in  54mm  /2.1in  53mm  /2.1in 

 

Expectations at Iceland Volcano Marathon

Generally, one should expect the weather in Iceland to be windy, cloudy, and cold. Anything else is a pleasant surprise! The wind is perhaps the most challenging factor - the North Atlantic wind can be brutal and unpredictable, with gusts seemingly coming from every direction. Thunderstorms in Iceland are very rare, and the area around Akureyri has the least precipitation in Iceland, but there is still a good chance of rain (at least for some portion of the race). Runners should come prepared for a little bit of everything!