Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Iceland
Iceland is an island between the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic
Ocean. It is fairly isolated; its closest neighbors are Greenland to the west and
the Faroe Islands to the southeast (both governed by Denmark).
Geographically, Iceland is a country formed by volcanic
activity and thus is fairly mountainous. However, it also has a long coastline and
numerous glacial fields. Between the ocean, volcanoes, and glaciers, the country
is very unique and diverse geographically and geologically. The entire island is
very sparsely populated outside of Reykjavik.
Despite Iceland's north latitude, the country is fairly
temperate due to the North Atlantic Ocean gulf stream and the volcanic activity
just beneath the surface. However, when currents from the northwest come in, temperatures
can cool quickly and dramatically.
The average winter temperature in Reykjavik is right around the freezing point (31°
F (0° C) as days are short and fog from the Atlantic can come in quickly, making
it feel much cooler. In the north of Iceland temperatures tend to be lower, but
most precipitation remains in the south, including much snow at elevation on the
Summer temperatures don't get overly warm, reaching daily highs of about 55°
F (13° C) in Reykjavik. Days are long though and the clouds are infrequent during
this time making it feel slightly warmer.