The Icelandic Meteorological Office

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The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) is a public institution under the auspices of the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. The role of the IMO is to contribute towards to public safety, the safeguarding of property, societal efficiency, sustainable use of natural resources and to conduct research in fields within it's purview. The IMO monitors the air, the land and the ocean, evaluates, analyses and interprets data, provides services to users and disseminates relevant information and warnings to the public. IMO responsibilities include the fields of meteorology, hydrology, glaciology, climatology, seismology and volcanology, and staff are involved in projects relating to  natural hazards, such as volcanic ash, extreme weather and flooding.

The IMO's headquarters is in Reykjavik but other offices are in Ísafjörður and at the international airport in Keflavík. IMO has a staff of 130 people, in addition to about 120 people who work on research-related activities all around Iceland.

Arctic Cooperation

The Icelandic Meteorological Office cooperates with many agencies in related fields, both within and outside Iceland, and also with international organizations, including the WMO (World Meteorological Organization), which in many cases relates to Arctic issues. The cooperation includes active participation in EC-PORS (Panel of Experts on Polar Observations, Research and Services), Arctic-HYDRA (The Arctic Hydro Logical Cycle; Monitoring and Assessment Program), GCW (Global Cryosphere Watch). Furthermore, IMO experts take part in various workshops of IASC (International Arctic Science Committee) and other Arctic-related committees and working groups.


IMO monitoring and research projects generally have an Arctic dimension to them. With ongoing environmental changes, long term time-series from IMO monitoring are becoming increasingly important. These include time series of weather-related factors, such as temperature, rainfall, air pressure and solar and cloud cover, time-series on  hydrology, glaciology, sea-ice condition, earthquakes, floods, ice and sediment load in rivers. These data are extremely important for providing a benchmark for assessing ongoing changes in the Arctic region.

The IMO leads and/or participates in numerous research projects, both domestic and foreign, whereof several are related to the Arctic in one way or another. An overview of projects can be found in the IMO's Annual reports.


The IMO’s Web provides comprehensive information in real-time on the weather i.e. temperature, winds and precipitation as well as notices, documents, reports, research papers, news, literature and promotional materials relating to the institution. The IMO, is in cooperation with the Icelandic Civil Protection System in notifications of natural disasters, crisis and risk assessment, in order to improve public safety and property. The web is available in both Icelandic and English. 
The IMO’s web is at




The IMO annually publishes a variety of reports, journals and articles. Below are some examples on the agency's recent publications.

Examples on peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
  • Tómas Jóhannesson, Helgi Björnsson, Eyjólfur Magnússon, Sverrir Guðmundsson, Finnur Pálsson, Oddur Sigurðsson, Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson & E. Berthier (2013). Ice-volume changes, bias-estimation of mass-balance measurements and changes in subglacial lakes derived by LiDAR-mapping of the surface of Icelandic glaciers. Annals of Glaciology 54(63), 63–74, 10.3189/2013AoG63A422.
  • Viggó Þór Marteinsson, Árni Rúnarsson, Andri Stefánsson, Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson, Tómas Jóhannesson, Sveinn H. Magnússon, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Bergur Einarsson, N. Wade, H. G. Morrison & E. Gaidos (2012). Microbial communities in the subglacial waters of the Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland. The ISME Journal  7, 427-437 (February 2013) | doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.97.
  • Emmanuel Pagneux & Árni Snorrason (2012). High-accuracy mapping of inundations induced by ice jams: A case study from Iceland. Hydrology Research 43(4), 412-421, doi:10.2166/nh.2012.114.
  • Guðrún Nína Petersen, Halldór Björnsson & Þórður Arason (2012). The impact of the atmosphere on the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption plume. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 117, D00U07, 14 s., doi:10.1029/2011JD016762.
  • Guðrún Nína Petersen, Halldór Björnsson, Þórður Arason & Sibylle von Löwis (2012). Two weather radar time series of the altitude of the volcanic plume during the May 2011 eruption of Grímsvötn, Iceland. Earth System Science Data 4, 121-127, doi:10.5194/essd-4-121-2012.
  • Nikolai Nawri & K. Harstveit (2012). Variability of surface wind directions over Finnmark, Norway, and coupling to the larger-scale atmospheric circulation. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 107(1-2), 15-33, doi: 10.1007/s00704-011-0458-0.
  • Árni Snorrason, Bergur Einarsson, Emmanuel Pagneux, Jórunn Harðardóttir,  Matthew J. Roberts, Oddur Sigurðsson,  Óðinn, Thórarinsson, Philippe Crochet, Tómas Jóhannesson & Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson (2012). Floods in Iceland. In: Z. W. Kundzewicz  (ed), Changes in Flood Risk in Europe. Oxfordshire: IAHS Special Publication 10, 257-276.
  • Hálfdán Ágústsson & Haraldur Ólafsson (2012). The bimodal downslope windstorms at Kvisker. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics 116(1-2), 27-42, doi:10.1007/s00703-010-0075-y.
  • Halldór Björnsson, Tómas Jóhannesson & Árni Snorrason (2011). Recent climate change, projected impacts and adaptation capacity in Iceland. Í: Linkov, I. & T. S. Bridges (ritstj.). Climate. Global change and local adaptation. Results of the NATO Advance Research Workshop, Hella, Iceland, 6.-10. júní 2010. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series - C: Environmental Security. Springer, Dordrecht, s. 465-475.
  • Jón Egill Kristjánsson, Sigurður Þorsteinsson, E. W. Kolstad & A.-M. Blechschmidt (2011). Orographic influence of East Greenland on a polar low over the Denmark Strait. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 137, 1773-1789, doi: 10.1002/qj.831.
  • Philippe Crochet & Tómas Jóhannesson (2011). A data set of gridded daily temperature in Iceland, 1949-2010. Jökull 61, 1-18.
  • Oddur Sigurðsson (2011). Iceland glaciers. Í: V. P. Singh, P. Singh & U. K. Haritashya (ritstj.). Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers. Springer, Dordrecht, s. 630-636.
  • Árni Snorrason, Jórunn Harðardóttir & Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson (2011). Climate and Energy Systems – Project Structure. In: Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson & Halldór Björnsson (eds.), Climate Change and Energy Systems. Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the Nordic and Baltic countries (p. 17-24). TemaNord 2011: 502. Copenhagen, Nordic Council of Ministers.
  • Oddur Sigurðsson (2010). Variations of Mýrdalsjökull during postglacial and historical times. Í: A. Schomacker, J. Krüger & K. H. Kjær (ritstj.) . The Mýrdalsjökull Ice Cap, Iceland. Glacial processes, sediments and landforms on an active volcano, 5. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Developments in Quaternary Science 13, 69-78.


Vedurstofa Jorunn HardardottirContact

Name: Jórunn Harðardóttir

Job title: Managing Director, processing and Research Division

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone: (+354) 522 6000










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