Weather

Record snowfall in the land of ice

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, gets buried in the deepest February snowfall on record.

51cm of snow in 24 hours in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik [Gunnar Freyr]

Reykjavik, despite being the capital city of a country called Iceland, is not known for excessive ice, or snow.

Nevertheless, the past weekend saw the deepest - and possibly quickest - fall of snow ever recorded for February.

As yet another winter storm deepened in the North Atlantic Ocean, snow started to fall on Saturday morning. A thaw and rain the previous day had melted most lying snow but within 24 hours, 51cm of new snow was covering everything in sight.

This beats the previous February record of 48cm, set in 1952. It is only 3cm short of the all-time record of 55cm, set in January of 1937. All roads were closed, unsurprisingly, but Sunday is not a working day in Iceland.

Curiously, the changing climate has already moved Iceland into a different climate zone. Climate is typically judged in 30-year periods, a reasonable and standardised procedure, and classified using the Köppen climate classification scheme.

Using figures between 1961 and 1990, Reykjavik was judged to have a Sub-Arctic climate, bordering upon Arctic tundra - there is only one colder classification: eternal winter.

However, in the admittedly shorter period of 2000-2014, Reykjavik now falls firmly into the warmer sub-polar oceanic climate.

With thanks to Gunnar Freyr, whose photos show even more here.

Source: Al Jazeera News