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A travel warning has been issued for East and South East Iceland today. Hurricane force wind gusts, coupled with sleet and snow can make driving extremely challenging. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Authority cautions drivers that road conditions at higher altitudes, on where roads cross heaths or mountains in East, South East and North East Iceland will be especially difficult.
Severe gale, hurricane force wind gusts
Wind speeds in individual gusts can exceed 40 meters per second (90mph). Sustained wind speeds in excess of 32.7 ms (73 mph) are classified as hurricanes. While sustained wind speeds are only expected to reach the force of a severe gale or 23 ms (51 mph), individual gusts, especially near steep mountains, can easily reach greater force, causing drivers to lose control of vehicles or blow larger vehicles like RVs or travel trailers off the road.
According to the weather forecast from the Icelandic Meteorological Office snow and sleet are expected on Fjarðarheiði heath as well as the Ring Road where it crosses the Mývatns og Möðrudalsörðfi highland heaths. Fjarðarheiði heath connects the town of Seyðisfjörður to the town of Egilsstaðir and the Ring Road. Mývatns og Möðrudalsöræfi are part of the Central Highalnds, separating North Iceland from the Eastfjords. The Ring Road between the town of Egilsstaðir and Mývatn lake crosses the highland plateau.
Travel warnings issued
ICE-SAR has issued to following travel warnings:
Strong Winds in South East and East! Very strong winds (gusts up to 40m/s, 145km/h, 90mph) expected between Skaftafell and Djúpivogur today. People travelling in camper vans or with trailers should delay travel until the wind calms.
Snowfall expected in the NorthSnowfall is expected in areas above 200 m (650 ft.) today from Varmahlíð to Seyðisfjörður. Slippery mountain road conditions! Most vehicles are not equipped for winter yet so SLOW DOWN!
Last week's floods in East and South East Iceland should remind travellers that the weather and travel conditions in Iceland can easily change. You should always keep up to date on the latest weather updates from the Icelandic Meteorological Office at vedur.is and travel warnings date with travel warnings at safetravel.is.
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