In response to claims made by the Minister of the Interior that no one was warned of poor weather which hit the country last September, one meteorologist took it upon himself to prove him wrong.
As many will recall, last September the north of Iceland was hit by snow and high winds which downed power lines and stranded sheep, launching a concerted search and rescue operation. Many people were caught off guard, left without electricity, and hundreds of sheep had to be put down.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir said that there had been numerous warnings that such foul weather was on the way. However, fellow Leftist-Green and Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson responded that “no word of warning had been given” for the upcoming bad weather during those September days.
Haraldur Ólafsson, a meteorologist for RÚV, decided to respond to this contention himself, by bringing up the weather map showing the forecast for those upcoming days, live on national television last night.
“Good evening. It is both educational and fun to look at old weather maps, especially old weather forecasts” said Haraldur. “Here we have an example of an old forecast made September 8, which applied to September 10”, which is when the storms first struck Iceland.
Haraldur then explained in great detail that 25 metres per second is a very fast wind speed, and that the snowflake-looking symbol on the map indicates snow is on the way.
This is possibly the first time in Icelandic history that a meteorologist has responded on live television to statements made by government ministers. Ögmundur has not yet offered a retort of his own.