Iceland tourists rescued from snow as wintry weather batters green list nation

·2 min read
Grey skies: Reykjavik, capital of Iceland (Simon Calder)
Grey skies: Reykjavik, capital of Iceland (Simon Calder)

One of the few destinations on the UK government’s “green list” of low-risk nations is experiencing unseasonably wintry weather.

Tourists in Iceland had to be rescued after they were trapped by a snowstorm.

According to Iceland Review, search and rescue crews were called out to assist a group of visitors at a campsite near Vík í Mýrdal at the southern tip of the country.

Around 10cm (4 inches) of snow had settled on the Pakgil campsite, making it impossible for ordinary vehicles to negotiate the steep and rough track.

In his daily weather blog, the meteorologist Einar Sveinbjörnsson wrote: “One has been able to observe the formation of a more severe type of Arctic depression. but what also makes it special is its location, ie how southern it is.

“The origin can be traced to the inflow of freezing Arctic air from Canada east to the Atlantic Ocean.”

Normally June is the month with least precipitation in Iceland, and snow is rare.

In the week before midsummer, the temperature in the capital, Reykjavik, is not predicted to reach double figures before the weekend.

Mr Sveinbjörnsson predicts a week of northerly winds, followed from midsummer’s day – 21 June – by warmer but wetter weather.

He estimates a 60 per cent chance that the following week (28 June-5 July) will be cool across Iceland, Scandinavia and mainland Europe.

Clive Stacey, founder of the Iceland specialist tour operator, Discover the World, said: “The weather in Iceland is unseasonably cold, but this is not especially unusual. However, July-September is usually much better.

“And as the old Icelandic saying goes: ‘If you don’t like the weather then just wait a few minutes.’ “

Iceland is one of only three green list territories in Europe – along with the Faroe Islands and Gibraltar – from which travellers need not quarantine on entering the UK.

Portugal, where the high on Tuesday is expected to be 24C, was moved to the “amber list” a week ago.

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