The weather in Iceland is notoriously fickle and you never know how much snow to expect. We have winters where it hardly snows at all while others it snows almost endlessly. Last winter, we had hardly any snow in Reykjavík until the end of February when it snowed over half a meter in one day. It was more snow than had snowed in one day in Reykjavík since the 1950s. The biggest snow depth ever recorded in Iceland was by Skeiðsfossvirkjun power plant in North Iceland in March 1995. It was recorded at 279cm, but that winter was one of the snow heaviest since records began.
How much snow to expect?
It snows more in the West Fjords, and North and East Iceland, than it does in South and West Iceland. Sometimes it snows so much in the north, that people cannot get out of their houses and the mountain pass between the north and east is often impassable.
However, for the last few years, the ring road has been opened all year round often. We recommend you check the weather forecast regularly while driving in Iceland during the winter. Most of the time, the weather is quite all right, but we do get storms. It is important to heed warnings from the Icelandic Met Office.
It is not likely you will get snowed in while you’re traveling in Iceland during the winter. There will undoubtedly be snow in the mountains and outside the city, but if you are only traveling in South and West Iceland. It is more likely you will see snowdrift more than anything else.
That being said, we do hope you experience what we Icelanders call a Christmas snowfall. It is when there is no wind, and it snows big, fluffy snowflakes. Everything looks and sounds like it’s wrapped in cotton and is the best weather to play in the snow and make snowmen.
Remember to dress warmly, and all winter weather in Iceland can be magical!