Weather in Iceland in May

Magazine Weather in Iceland in May

May is truly a great time to visit Iceland! The days are nice and long which also means that  the landscape are getting green and the flowers are blooming and bird life is returning. If that weren’t enough, there are lots of fun happenings in Reykjavik and elsewhere including: the Reykjavik Art Festival, Festival of the Sea and an independent music festival call Reykjavik Music Mess. Now that we got you interested, here’s what you can expect from the weather and length of days.

In May, you can expect lots and lots of daylight! This in contrast to the limited daylight during the winter months, the summer months at high latitudes are characterized by long days. Sunrise on May 1st in Iceland is at 5:00 AM and sunset is at 9:52 PM; that’s 16 hours and 51 minutes of daylight folks!  By the end of May the length of day increases to just over 20 hours. During the month of May the days are getting longer by about 6 minutes per day!

The month of May is characterized by gradually rising daily high temperatures as we get deeper into the Arctic summer. As for the actual temperatures, you can expect the average low to be approximately 2.2 degrees Celsius (36 F) and the average high temperatures to be 11.7 degrees Celsius (53 F).  Mind you, these are averages. You could experience warmer days. But, in general life at this latitude means dealing with cool temperatures, even in May. If it’s any consolation, Iceland should be colder! Its temperatures are mitigated by the Gulf Stream, which brings relatively warm water up from lower latitudes.

The average rainfall in Reykjavik is approximately 42 mm (1.65 inches) in May which is generally the lowest of the year. This precipitation will generally come as light rain with almost no chance of snow, unless you are high up in the mountains.

Despite the fact that it is summer in Iceland, we still recommend bringing layers and some good waterproof shoes so you can enjoy whatever weather Iceland throws at you. And, if you are looking for a hotel in Iceland, we humbly suggest staying at one of our 9 Icelandair Hotels, located in all the prime locations including two in Reykjavik, including one of our newest Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina . Cheers!

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