Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Storm watch: Ring Road in S. Iceland closed, dangerous winds on heaths, along South Coast

By Staff

  • No travel conditions The South Coast is closed to traffic, conditions in the west not much better. Photo/IRCA

The Ring Road across Hellisheiði heath and the alternate route through Þrengslin mountain pass have been closed to all traffic as yet another winter storm passes over Iceland. Conditions on the heath have been deemed dangerous due to high winds and zero visibility.

Yesterday the storm blew several cars off the road in South Iceland.

Read more: Storm watch: At least six cars blown off Ring Road west of the village Vík in S. Iceland

Conditions on the Ring Road in South Iceland are also dangerous. The Ring Road from the village Hvolsvöllur to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon in South East Iceland has been closed to all traffic. The Ring Road across Holtavörðuheiði heath, which separates West Iceland and North West Iceland has also been closed to all traffic. Travellers are asked to revise any travel plans.

Part of the Golden Circle is also closed to all traffic, as the road across Lyngdalsheiði heath from Þingvallavatn National Park to Laugavatn village has been closed to traffic.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office reports that localized winds along the foothills of Eyjafjöll mountain range have exceeded 50 m/s (112 mph). 

Read more: Travellers, a man and his pregnant wife, spent 20 hours stuck in snow in their car at Þingvellir

Drivers are adviced that conditions on roads which have not yet been closed are also dangerous or extremely challenging. The wind has blown cars off the Ring Road between the towns of Selfoss and Hveragerði. in South Iceland, and the IRCA is warning drivers to expect blowing snow and extremely limited visibility on all roads, in all parts of Iceland. Ice and icy patches on roads only add to the danger of driving in these conditions.

ICE-SAR has issued FOUR different travel alerts for today:

Road closures: Ring Road no. 1 is CLOSED over Holtavörðuheiði mountain pass, from Reykjavík to Hveragerði and from Hvolsvöllur to Jökulsárlón! Mountain pass (365) from Þingvellir to Laugarvatn on Golden Circle is also closed!

Storm: Strong wind gusts (over 30 m/s, 110 km/h, 70 mph) expected near mountains in all Iceland. Snow blowing over roads so poor visibility on many mountain roads! SLOW DOWN when driving by mountains!

Golden Circle: Bad driving conditions on the Golden Circle! Poor visibility due to snow blowing over the icy roads! Travelling not recommended for inexperienced drivers!

Severe Storm: No travel conditions in S-Iceland from Hvolsvöllur to Jökulsárlón until afternoon due to snow and gusts up to 50 m/s (112 mph, 180 km/h)! Avoid travelling in the area at this time!

People should keep in mind that conditions deteriorate very rapidly at higher altitudes. You should therefore always expect driving conditions where roads cross heaths or through mountain passes to be significicantly worse than closer to the coast. Also, people should remember that weather conditions can change rapidly in Iceland.

Winter travellers in Iceland should always pay close attention to the weather forecast, all weather alerts and road conditions as well as travel alerts from ICE -SAR before embarking on any travel outside urban areas.

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