The weather is a huge factor when trying to determine the best time to visit. You'll be driving in Iceland and it's important to know what to expect weather wise. Here’s a quick overview of Iceland weather by month and season. Iceland weather might surprise you, so let’s compare. We’ve laid out the Iceland average temperature and precipitation for all four seasons.
You’ll find that the Icelandic climate is not as harsh or extreme as some people expect. Yes, we are close to the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic. But the warming waters of the Gulf Stream produce a microclimate that keeps us from turning into human popsicles. Icelandic winters are close to what you’ll find in places like New York. Iceland weather averages might surprise you, so let’s take a look.
Iceland Summer Weather and the Midnight Sun
Summertime is by far the most popular time to visit Iceland. The country has shaken off the cold, icy months of winter. Melting snow has been replaced by lush, green landscapes and blooming lupine as far as the eye can see. And of course, the Highlands have reopened; which means adventure on Iceland’s F-roads is just around the corner.
Typical Iceland Weather in June
As far as the weather is concerned, you’re pretty safe when visiting in June. There has been the occasional summer snowstorm, and last year it was a bit cold and rainy. But in general, it’s usually quite mild. June has the least amount of precipitation during the year, and it’s usually just light rain or drizzle. The summer solstice means the Midnight Sun, so bring your sleep mask.
Average temperatures in June: High of 11.7 °C (53.1 °F) | Low of 6.7 °C (44.1 °F)
Rainfall: 4.5 cm (1.8 inches)
July Weather in Iceland
The nice weather conditions continue during July. Access to the Highlands has fully opened, and hikers take to the trails of Landmannalaugar. Temperatures are warm but keep in mind that “hot” is a relative term. Layering is key in Iceland, even in the middle of summer. You should be lucky though, and have plenty of days with clear, blue skies.
Average July temperatures: High of 13.3 °C (55.9 °F) | Low of 8.3 °C (46.9 °F)
Rainfall: 5.1 cm (2 inches)
What to Expect for Iceland's August Weather
This is a great month to visit with regards to the weather. You still have the nice temperatures and sunny days of June and July. There are plenty of parades, outdoor festivals, and the fireworks at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
August averages for temperature: High of 13 °C (55.4 °F) | Low is 7.9 °C (46.2 °F)
Rainfall: 6.1 cm (2.4 inches)
Iceland’s Fall Weather - A Time of Transition
Fall is another lovely time of year to visit Iceland. A large portion of the summer masses have returned home, and the island feels a little less crowded. Prices and temperatures have started to dip, and you can still enjoy activities like Vatnajökull National Park. The Northern Lights also begin to appear at the end of the month and will last until late March.
September Weather in Iceland
September has more rainy days than in the previous summer months. It’s also slightly cooler, but not quite cold enough to make your teeth chatter. It’s a lovely time to visit Iceland because there are not too many tourists around and temperatures aren’t extremely low.
Average Temperatures in September: High is 10 °C (50.2 °F) | Low is 5 °C (41 °F)
Rainfall: 6.6 (2.6 inches)
Typical October Weather in Iceland
In October we continue the cooling trend that started in September. Travelers continue to clear out as temperatures start to drop. October is another wet month, so be sure to pack those waterproof hiking boots and your trusty rain jacket. Iceland is extremely windy; when combined with sleet and freezing rain of October you’ll need to protect yourself from the elements.
Average October Temperatures: High is 6.8 °C (44.2 °F) | Low is 2.2 °C (36 °F)
Rainfall: 8.6 cm (3.4 inches)
Iceland’s Winter Weather - Let it Snow
With precipitation falling in the form of snow, sleet, and hail, Iceland’s winter weather is unpredictable. Become acquainted with the Icelandic version of Accuweather, the Iceland Meteorological Office website. Consult the forecast regularly, and if you are driving, check the weather hourly.
November Weather in Iceland
We’ve officially reached the time of year when temperatures hover around the freezing point and stay there. The low mercury reading on the thermometer mixed with lots of precipitation means snowy weather conditions and icy roads. Time to make some indoor plans like exploring some of Reykjavik’s cozy cafés.
Average November Temperatures: High is 3.4 °C (38.1 °F) | Low is -1.3 °C (29.7 °F)
Rainfall: 7.3 cm (2.9 inches)
December Weather Forecast for Iceland
It’s nearly Christmas in Iceland, and we’re approaching the winter solstice. The shortest days of the year give us very limited light due to our Northern latitude. You may feel like you’re in a winter wonderland as you see the cities, towns, and scenery blanketed in snow and ice. The temperature in Reykjavik keeps things pretty frozen, but they will thaw out again in the spring.
Average Temperature in December: High is 2.2 °C (36 °F) | Low is -2.8 °C (27 °F)
Rainfall: 7.8 cm (3.1 inches)
January's Iceland Weather
We’re in the midst of winter, and not much has changed; you’ll find a mixed bag of sunny and gloomy, overcast days. The temperature in Iceland is low enough for there to be icicles hanging from your lashes, so be wary of frostbite. Be sure to stay vigilant and check the weather report frequently. And remember to pack sunscreen! The sun reflecting of Skaftafell glacier during your hike could give you a sunburn if you’re not careful.
January Averages: High is 1.9 °C (35.4 °F) | Low is -3 °C (26.6 °F)
Rainfall: 7.6 cm (3 inches)
February Weather in Iceland
It’s still cold and we’re waiting for spring to arrive. This is a great time of year to visit beautiful frozen waterfalls like Gullfoss on the Golden Circle. Skiing and snowboarding near Dalvik and Akureyri are favorite wintertime activities. You can also spend some of your Icelandic króna on some kleina and a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm.
Averages for February: High is 2.8 °C (37 °F). Low is -2.1 °C (28.2 °F).
Rainfall: 7.1 cm (2.8 inches)
March Weather Forecast in Iceland
We’re reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the last true month of winter before it starts heating up as we head into summer. March also marks the end of Aurora Borealis season in Iceland, so be sure to catch Mother Nature’s light show. March is wet and windy but the good news is that we’re getting more sunlight every single day.
Average temperatures in March: High is 3.2 °C (37.8 °F). Low is -2 °C (28.4 °F)
Rainfall: 8.2 cm (3.2 inches)
Spring has Sprung
Spring in Iceland is short; some might even say nonexistent. Nevertheless, there is a noticeable shift in the weather Iceland has. We are ever so slightly warming up and getting ready for the festivals and celebrations of summer.
April Weather in Iceland
Summer is almost here. April still has some snowfall, but on the whole, ice is starting to melt and the ground is reemerging. It's also noticeably less wet than in March.
April Average temperatures: High is 5.7 °C (42.3 °F) | Low is 0.4 °C (32.7 °F)
Rainfall: 4.3 cm (1.7 inches)
May Weather Forecast in Iceland
Alright, now we’re in the home stretch. We’ve got sunnier, less windy weather than in previous months. It’s a great time of year to hike Svartifoss or visit the Blue Lagoon. The Iceland average temperature is lower in spring that what you might be used to. But if you have the right layers, you’ll be fine. The highest temperature recorded in Iceland was 30.5 ºC (87 ºF), so we do get warm weather occasionally.
May Averages: High is 9.4 °C (48.9 °F) | Low is 3.6 °C (38.5 °F)
Rainfall: 4.3 cm (1.7 inches)
Iceland Weather by Month and Season
This should help you with planning your trip. It's also a good idea to look up sunshine and daylight hours for the time you plan on visiting. It can be as little as four hours a day or as many as 20. This will significantly affect the activities you do. And I have one last tip.
In Iceland, we use the standard system for weights and measures along with Celsius for talking about degrees. If you’re used to seeing temperatures written in Fahrenheit, this can throw you off a bit. A neat little trick for converting Celsius to Fahrenheit is to take the temperature, double it, and add 30. So 10 ºC is approximately 50 ºF. And of course, the reverse is true for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius.