Average Weather in Reykjavík Iceland
In Reykjavík, the summers are short, cool, and mostly cloudy and the winters are long, very cold, wet, windy, and overcast. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 28°F to 57°F and is rarely below 17°F or above 62°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Reykjavík for warm-weather activities is from early July to mid August.
The warm season lasts for 2.9 months, from June 10 to September 6, with an average daily high temperature above 53°F. The hottest day of the year is July 31, with an average high of 57°F and low of 49°F.
The cold season lasts for 4.9 months, from November 8 to April 4, with an average daily high temperature below 40°F. The coldest day of the year is January 24, with an average low of 28°F and high of 36°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
In Reykjavík, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Reykjavík begins around April 2 and lasts for 7.2 months, ending around November 7. On May 21, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 43% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 57% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 7 and lasts for 4.8 months, ending around April 2. On January 21, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 78% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 22% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Reykjavík varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 7.4 months, from August 26 to April 8, with a greater than 42% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 55% on February 26.
The drier season lasts 4.5 months, from April 8 to August 26. The smallest chance of a wet day is 29% on July 7.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 47% on September 21.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Reykjavík experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Reykjavík. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around September 28, with an average total accumulation of 4.6 inches.
The least rain falls around June 8, with an average total accumulation of 2.1 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Reykjavík experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 6.0 months, from October 25 to April 26, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around January 18, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 1.0 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 6.0 months, from April 26 to October 25. The least snow falls around July 28, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Reykjavík varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 4 hours, 7 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 21 hours, 9 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 2:54 AM on June 20, and the latest sunrise is 8 hours, 28 minutes later at 11:23 AM on December 25. The earliest sunset is at 3:28 PM on December 18, and the latest sunset is 8 hours, 35 minutes later at 12:03 AM on June 21.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Reykjavík during 2017.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in Reykjavík, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Reykjavík experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 6.1 months, from October 22 to April 26, with average wind speeds of more than 12.0 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 7, with an average hourly wind speed of 16.1 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.9 months, from April 26 to October 22. The calmest day of the year is July 21, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.9 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Reykjavík varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 1.0 weeks, from February 26 to March 5; for 1.6 weeks, from April 17 to April 28; and for 4.5 months, from May 6 to September 20, with a peak percentage of 33% on July 25. The wind is most often from the east for 1.4 months, from March 5 to April 17; for 1.1 weeks, from April 28 to May 6; and for 5.2 months, from September 20 to February 26, with a peak percentage of 31% on March 9.
Reykjavík is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 2.6 months, from June 24 to September 13, with an average temperature above 50°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 8, with an average temperature of 52°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 5.2 months, from November 28 to May 3, with an average temperature below 43°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is March 3, with an average temperature of 41°F.
Average Water Temperature
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Reykjavík throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Reykjavík for general outdoor tourist activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Reykjavík typically lasts for 4.9 months (148 days), from around May 10 to around October 6, rarely starting before April 22 or after May 30, and rarely ending before September 16 or after October 24.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Reykjavík should appear around July 12, only rarely appearing before June 26 or after August 2.
Growing Degree Days
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.9 months, from May 6 to August 1, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 4.2 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 17, with an average of 5.2 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from October 11 to March 5, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 1.1 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 21, with an average of 0.0 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Reykjavík are 64.135 deg latitude, -21.895 deg longitude, and 3 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Reykjavík contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 203 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 57 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (2,851 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (4,426 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Reykjavík is covered by artificial surfaces (83%), within 10 miles by water (39%) and shrubs (30%), and within 50 miles by water (53%) and shrubs (23%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Reykjavík, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Reykjavík.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Reykjavík according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Reykjavík is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Reykjavík and a given station.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.