ICE-SAR posted this photo earlier today, reminding people not to embark on hikes
© Safetravel.is
ICE-SAR posted this photo earlier today, reminding people not to embark on hikes over Fimmvörðuháls trail.
Yellow weather alerts are in effect for all of Iceland, except the west and south, as the first winter storm of the season delivers snow and sleet and gale force winds in the northern part of the island and the Central Highlands. Travelers are warned to expect winter driving conditions. Drivers should slow down and expect snow on roads, as well as slick patches, due to ice and sleet along the Ring Road where it crosses heaths and mountain passes.

There is no travel or camping weather in the Central Highlands today due to cold weather, drifting snow and sleet. Do not embark on hikes today, unless you enjoy taking up the time of search and rescue units!

The yellow weather alerts are in effect until midnight. ICE-SAR has also issued a travel warning for East Iceland, where the snowfall is expected to be heaviest, warning travelers to expect heavy snow locally in the east, at least until mid-day when the snow will have melted. Wet, melting snow on roads can cause dangerous driving conditions, as the roads become slippery. Drivers should slow down.

This photo was taken yesterday on the Ring Road
© Police NW Iceland
This photo was taken yesterday on the Ring Road in NW Iceland.
Powerful localized winds make the slick roads even more dangerous. ICE-SAR warns that between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the village of Djúpivogur in the Eastfjords localized winds and wind gusts can reach 30-35 m/s (67-78 mph). The winds will blow from the mountains and highlands, across the road, creating dangerous conditions for vehicles which are susceptible to wind, like RVs and vehicles with travel trailers. The worst of the storm is expected to have passed by 14:00.

ICE-SAR has also issued a storm alert for South-East Iceland, the area from Kirkjubæjarklaustur village to the town of Höfn. Sustained windspeeds of 18-23 m/s (40-51 mph) with stronger wind gusts and localized winds that can be hazardous for vehicles that are sensitive to wind. People are advised to secure their neighborhood and show caution.

Travelers are urged to keep up to date with weather alerts and the forecast on vedur.is, any travel warnings at safetravel.is and road conditions on the website of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Authority.