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Icelandic forecasts.

Being impressed by the efforts and frienfliness of a small weather service, I was moved to write this page to help the few hardy souls that venture that far north.


The Icelandic Met Service is small but very helpful to sailors. Clearly, in the eyes of their government, safety at sea comes before commercial considerations. For anyone sailing in those inhospitable waters around a very hospitable country may find the following information to be useful. It has been provided by Bj÷rn SŠvar Einarsson, Deputy Head of the Service.

The shipping forecast is produced 8 times a day in Icelandic for areas numbered 1-9, at 01:00, 04:30, 06:45, 10:03, 12:45, 16:30, 19:30 and 22:10 UTC. It is available on the web (in Icelandic) within few minutes. For low bandwidth on the web, a text only version of the shipping forecast is also available. At 01:00, 06:35 and 19:30 there are forecasts included for the high sea areas (in Icelandic). The areas are given clockwise from Vesturdjup.

The forecasts are for 24 hours but the 10:03, 12:45, 16:30 are extended until 18:00 tomorrow. ( so the 10:03 forecast is a 30 hour forecast in effect). In the 10:03 forecast there is a general outlook for the 2nd and 3rd day around Iceland.

The 04:30, 10:03, 16:30 and 22:10 forecasts are available in English(total of 4 times a day) on the web, usually within 30 minutes from the Icelandic forecast times, and sent to Reykjavik Radio (Iceland Telecom) which transmits them on the NAVTEX, at 02:50, 06:50, 10:50, 14:50, 18:50 and 22:50 UTC. Sailors who can access the internet, get the shipping forecast in English sooner than by NAVTEX.

There is only one NAVTEX transmitter in Iceland, located in Reykjavik, Therefore reception is often difficult to impossible to the northeast, east, and southeast of Iceland. There were plans to put up another transmitter in eastern Iceland or even in the Faroes but nothing has yet materialised.

All forecasts and measurements of wind are given in m/s (multiply by 2 to get knots or divide by two to get Beaufort forces) Wind speed is usually forecast in 5 m/s intervals, ie 3-8, 5-10, 8-13, 10-15, 13-18, 15-20, 18-23 etc. Wind warnings are given out for force 9 or more, rounded down to 20 m/s. In practice, if an area has forecast of 18-23 m/s, a warning is issued.


The Icelandic Met Service has useful site with an English home page There are both weather and wave forecasts based on the ECMWF forecast up to 3 and 5 days respectively. A link from this page goes to a general information page on Iceland..

Sailors are welcome to contact The Icelandic Met. Office (Ve­urstofa ═slands). The duty Met. Officer can be telephoned on +354 522 6000 .

Visitors are welcome at the Met. office where they can question the meteorologists directly about the weather conditions and about ice conditions between Iceland and Greenland.

Use this link for a map of the [Iceland-Weather-Forecast-Sea-Areas | Icelandic Sea Areas and High Seas Areas]].

Some useful links