The weather this winter has been exceptionally bad here in Iceland. The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) is constantly issuing warnings to travelers and residents around the country. It seems that we have one storm after another that are constantly bombarding Reykjavík and surrounding communities as well as the countryside and the rest of the country. This has been going on since November and we can sense that many Icelanders are becoming really tired. Consequently we are spending more and more time inside.
The variety in the weather and the consequences are almost unbelievable and nearly unheard of in anyone’s memory. Even among old people and senior citizens. No one seems to remember anything like this. On day we have heavy snow and unusually severe storms the next day melting snow and flood. The pavements are constantly slippery with dangerous ice and we are experiencing all kinds of unusual weather issues dragging on for days and weeks.
This weekend the Meteorological Office issued its worst warning yet, and they have been many. A violent storm with hurricane-force wind gusts will occur tomorrow, Saturday 14 March. IMO has issued warnings due to wind with wind gusts exceeding 50 m/s. That is, or at least has been, very unusual here in Iceland. We are not used to such strong storms that are exceeding 50 m/s.
For the first time in many years most of us are getting really tired of the weather. And here we are talking about people that have a long experience taking a beating from King Winter. We are talking about people that have lived with difficult winters and unpredictable weather for years and decades. Although a lot is going on in politics, culture and the economy, Icelanders are basically only talking about the weather. The weather is now a dominant factor in all conversations around the country. Anywhere where two Icelanders meet they immediately start talking about the weather. They start cursing the weather, telling each other how much they hate the storms, how much they would like to get rid of the wind, how they are annoyed by the gusts, how the rain makes everything gray, how the fold got water into their cellar, how the snow makes it difficult to go around the city and on they go. They share their dreams of taking a long vacation somewhere south where they can lie in the sun or play golf.
Although a nation of people that love to argue and disagree about all kind of political, economical and cultural issues for once almost all Icelanders agree inn their conversations. They now hate the weather.