Lightning Warning For South And West Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Lightning Warning For South And West Iceland

Published July 17, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Benjamin Stäudinger/Wikimedia Commons

Thunder and lightning are both predicted to be likely this afternoon in both the south and west today, RÚV reports. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has issued safety tips for those with little experience with lightning on how best to avoid getting struck.

As conditions conducive to lightning begin to worsen, people are advised to avoid wide open fields and swimming pools; to not carry metal objects or objects with a metal frame, such as umbrellas; to stay away from trees; and to get indoors. If you are caught out in the open when lightning begins to appear and there is no nearby shelter, they advise people to crouch down on the ground and cover your ears.

As thunder and lightning require warm air meeting cool air to happen, it has historically been an uncommon event in Iceland, albeit not as uncommon as people think. In recent years especially, stormy weather with warm temperatures therefore created conditions ripe for lightning.

Numerous recordings of lightning strikes in Iceland have accumulated over the years, capturing strikes both on the mainland and the Westman Islands, and on one occasion at least, lightning striking an airplane was also captured on video.

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