From Iceland — Sea Ice Spotted Off The Coast Of West Fjords

Sea Ice Spotted Off The Coast Of West Fjords

Published May 11, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Icelandic Coast Guard

The Coast Guard issued a warning on Saturday, May 9th, of sea ice off the coast of the Westfjords. In recent days, the sea ice off the coast of Greenland has moved closer to Iceland. As of 21:00 on Friday, the ice was roughly 30 nautical miles from Mount Straumnes on the northern tip of the West Fjords.

RÚV reported that the forecast for Sunday would possibly push the ice closer to land. While it is unclear whether it has come closer, sea ice in the area is to be expected with the recently reported glacier runoff. This isn’t the first time these ice floes have been reported in the area, either.

Two years ago, sea ice from southeast Greenland came as close as 12 nautical miles from the northern tip of the West Fjords. Last year, an enormous iceberg was spotted off the northwestern coast, although it quickly melted and broke apart.

According to meteorologist Óli Þór Árnason, this is the time of year when the sea ice is closest to the country. In May and June, southwesterly winds from Greenland move the ice closer to Iceland. The danger is that many ships are not equipped to sail through ice, although it tends to melt away the closer it gets to shore.

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