Climate in Reykjavik, Iceland

According to andyeducation, Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland, is known for its unique and relatively cool maritime subarctic climate. Situated on the southwestern coast of the island nation, Reykjavik experiences distinct seasons and some of the most dramatic weather variations in the world. In this comprehensive description, we will explore the various facets of Reykjavik’s climate, including temperature, precipitation, seasons, and notable climate-related characteristics.


Reykjavik’s climate is characterized by cool summers and relatively mild winters compared to its high-latitude location. However, the city experiences significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year.

  • Summer (June to August): Reykjavik’s summer months are the mildest of the year, with daytime temperatures averaging around 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). Occasionally, temperatures can rise to 20°C (68°F) or higher during particularly warm spells. Nights remain cool, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F). Summer is the peak tourist season, with extended daylight hours and the opportunity to explore Iceland’s stunning natural landscapes.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters in Reykjavik are relatively mild considering its high-latitude location. Daytime highs typically range from 0°C to 5°C (32°F to 41°F), and nighttime lows hover around -3°C to 2°C (27°F to 36°F). Snowfall is common during this season, with snow accumulating on the ground. The city’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean moderates temperatures and prevents extreme cold.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring in Reykjavik is marked by a gradual increase in temperatures. Daytime highs range from 2°C to 7°C (36°F to 45°F), and nighttime lows range from -2°C to 3°C (28°F to 37°F). Snow begins to melt, and the landscape awakens from winter’s slumber.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn temperatures in Reykjavik are relatively similar to those in spring. Daytime highs range from 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F), and nighttime lows range from 1°C to 5°C (34°F to 41°F). As autumn progresses, the city experiences increasingly shorter daylight hours.

Reykjavik’s climate offers visitors and residents the opportunity to experience the beauty of all four seasons, each with its unique charm.


Reykjavik experiences a relatively high amount of precipitation, primarily in the form of rain and snow. Precipitation levels are influenced by the city’s maritime location and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Rainfall: Reykjavik receives a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year, with the wettest months typically being September and October. Monthly rainfall totals can vary widely but often range from 40 to 100 millimeters (1.6 to 3.9 inches) per month during the wettest periods.
  • Snowfall: Snowfall is common during the winter months, especially from December to February. Monthly snowfall totals can vary but often range from 10 to 30 centimeters (4 to 12 inches) per month. Snow accumulation is more pronounced in suburban and rural areas surrounding Reykjavik.
  • Precipitation Distribution: While Reykjavik experiences precipitation year-round, it is distributed fairly evenly across the seasons. Summer brings occasional rain showers, while autumn and winter see a combination of rain and snow. Spring marks the transition with a mix of precipitation types.


According to existingcountries, Reykjavik’s climate features four distinct seasons, each offering its unique appeal:

  1. Summer (June to August): Summer is the most popular season for tourists, with long daylight hours and milder temperatures. Visitors can explore Iceland’s natural wonders, including waterfalls, geysers, and volcanic landscapes.
  2. Winter (December to February): Winter brings the opportunity to experience the city’s festive holiday markets, thermal baths, and northern lights (Aurora Borealis) displays. Outdoor activities such as ice skating and snowmobiling are also popular during this season.
  3. Spring (March to May): Spring marks the return of milder temperatures and the gradual emergence of flora and fauna. It’s a great time to witness the countryside coming back to life.
  4. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is characterized by colorful foliage and is an excellent time for hiking and exploring Reykjavik’s parks. The city’s cultural scene also comes alive with various events and festivals.

Climate-Related Characteristics:

Reykjavik’s climate has some notable characteristics and considerations:

  1. Daylight Hours: Reykjavik experiences extreme variations in daylight hours throughout the year due to its high-latitude location. In midsummer (around the summer solstice in late June), the city enjoys nearly 24 hours of daylight, known as the “midnight sun.” Conversely, in midwinter (around the winter solstice in late December), the city experiences only a few hours of daylight each day.
  2. Northern Lights: Reykjavik is a popular destination for viewing the northern lights during the winter months. These dazzling displays of colorful lights in the night sky are a result of solar particles colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere.
  3. Geothermal Energy: Reykjavik takes advantage of its geothermal resources to provide heating and hot water to homes and businesses. Visitors can also enjoy geothermal pools and hot springs throughout the city.
  4. Volcanic Activity: Iceland is known for its volcanic activity, and Reykjavik is not immune to the occasional volcanic eruption. While eruptions are relatively infrequent in the capital itself, they can impact air travel and city life when they occur.

In conclusion, Reykjavik, Iceland, experiences a maritime subarctic climate with four distinct seasons, offering a range of temperatures and weather conditions throughout the year. The city’s climate is characterized by its cool summers, relatively mild winters, and unique natural phenomena such as the northern lights and geothermal resources. Reykjavik’s climate provides a captivating backdrop for exploring Iceland’s stunning landscapes, enjoying cultural events, and experiencing the beauty of all four seasons.