Nearly all roads around and through the Highlands are currently closed. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA) today posted a map of current road conditions, and nearly all paths through the area are impassable roads due to heavy snowfall and ice.
According to Páll Halldórsson, the director of IRCA in Selfoss, the road closures have happened slightly earlier than usual.
The roads were declared “impassable”—meaning they should not be travelled on—last Saturday after several reports came in of foreign travellers who were trapped in their vehicles in the snow along mountain roads on the way to places like Askja and between Dettifoss and Vesturdalur, to the west of Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
Among the impassable roads are: Sprengisandsleið, Skagafjarðarleið, Austurleið, Vesturheiðarvegur, and Kaldidalur. The IRCA has not yet formally closed the entrance to the roads, but they intend to do so over the next few days.
In East and Northeast Iceland, there are several impassable roads, as well as a few ice-covered roads that should only be driven upon in vehicles outfitted with winter gear.
Yellow Warning for the North and Northeast Has Passed
Although yesterday’s yellow weather warning for the North and Northeast have passed, travellers are nevertheless advised to take precautions at all times when traversing Iceland. It is essential to continually check the weather forecast, to let somebody know where you’re going, and to pack your vehicle with warm blankets. Under no circumstances should travellers drive on impassable roads.
Mild Weather in the South, Despite Impassable Roads Elsewhere
Yesterday, three rainbows were spotted over Reykjavík—a sign, one might say, of good things to come.
The forecast for Reykjavík, in contrast to the snowstorms in the centre, north, and east of the country, has remained steadily mild, with some sunshine and light rain. The Icelandic Met Office has forecast a rain shower or two over the next few days, and a bit of a breeze with partly cloudy skies.