Much of northern and eastern Iceland remained without power Wednesday afternoon after a winter storm raged across the country this week prompting a red alert for the first time since the colour system was implemented in 2017.
“It’s been years since we’ve had such widespread impact from weather,” Birta Kristinsdottir, a forecaster at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said in a phone interview.
Kristinsdottir said winter storms are common in Iceland in December, and that although no nation-wide weather records were broken on Tuesday, the wind speeds and impacts across the country still set this storm apart.
“There were hurricane force winds in many places and we had about 150 weather stations that had winds of above 30 metres per second,” she said.
The strongest wind speed measured was 58.2 meters per second in the southwestern part of the country.
Kristinsdottir said the freak weather can partly be explained by an unusually deep low and temperatures that were slightly above freezing.
Sleet along the coast in the North also caused electrical infrastructure to ice up.
“They just fell like dominoes,” she said. “That was unusual, how big of an impact the storm made.”
The red weather warning expired in Iceland at noon on Wednesday.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: What are the northern lights?, CBC News
Finland: Finland to headquarter Europe’s new atmospheric research center, Yle News
Norway: NASA and Norway to develop observation station in Arctic, The Independent Barents Obsever
Sweden: Meteorite from Arctic Sweden fetches thousands at auction, Radio Sweden
United States: New map shows what Bering land bridge looked like 18,000 years ago, CBC New