Dog boring summer weather

I am trying my reverse-witching-powers. See, the weather has been awful in Reykjavík this summer. Truly awful.

I am trying my reverse-witching-powers.

See, the weather has been awful in Reykjavík this summer.

Truly awful.

Rain, wind, rain, wind, rain, and more wind.

And then some more windy rain.

So, I hope you’re having many days of temperatures exceeding nine degrees Celsius, with very little rain, or rain falling up.

That was not a mistake.

The nastiest feature of Icelandic weather, which is absolutely impossible to dress for, is the rain that rains up.

See, it’s easy to dress for the horizontal rain; you just put on rain gear and turn your face away from the wind, like horses do.

No such luck when it rains up.

And when it happens in July, with lousy seven-degree days and wind strong enough to blow over a bus and the rain changing to flurries, at times, well, it sucks.

It sucks doubly when you consider that the summers have been particularly good for the better part of the last decade.

So it’s no wonder the bad weather preys heavily on people’s minds these days.

Whole pages in newspapers and 10-minute clips in national TV are dedicated to this awful weather — repeatedly

According to a recent newspaper article in Fréttabladid, the average heat in Reykjavík in June 2005 was 10.5 degrees Celsius, about 1.5 degree above average, and rain was only about 80 per cent of that of an average year, or 40.2 millimetres.

This June, the average heat in Reykjavík in June was 9.4 degrees, which is still .4 degrees above average, but the rain was 17 per cent above average, or 58 millimetres.

The article didn’t mention the wind.

But the sun made all the difference.

See, in 2005, we had 208 hours of sun, which is 40 hours more than in an average year. This year, we only had 143, or 18 hours less than average.

And what is particularly interesting is that there were only six days without any rain all June.

So, it is no wonder people are worrying about the summer.

Farmers grumble, fishermen moan and office workers threaten to leave Iceland during their summer holidays to seek the sun in warmer parts of the world.

Those who make it to Icelanders’ favourite gathering spot, the many outdoors swimming pools, sit grouchy in the hot tubs — cross with the wind that whips their wet hair around, slaps it into their eyes and blow-dries it in strange coiffeurs.

Meanwhile, the numerous sun-tanning beds are still stacked up against the walls, just as they are in the middle of winter.

Even the lifeguard whines.

OK, I’m exaggerating a bit.

But not much.

And it does not help to hear that in the east of the island, the summer has been much nicer.

No, that does not help at all.

That’s like being in nasty weather for a whole month in the Yukon, while your mother calls every day from Prince George to tell you how lovely the summer is there, free of mosquitoes and with warm, sunny days.

So, Reykjavík-ites are grouchy, and have good cause for it.

Besides, people are much more fun when the weather is good, said Sigurdur Ragnarsson, meteorologist (nicknamed Siggi stormur, which, of course, means Siggi Storm) in that article.

And they are also nicer to meteorologists when the sun shines for a whole day at a time, said Siggi stormur

“We can also point out that it’s been 23 years since we had fewer totally dry days in June in Reykjavík, so this is not a good June and in fact, totally dog-boring,” Siggi stormur told the reporter (dog-boring is an Icelandic phrase for something that’s, well, awfully unpleasant).

Unfortunately, Siggi stormur and his colleagues only forecast more rain in the south of the island.

And this is where my witching powers come in.

See, this winter, I wrote about the lovely spring we were having, with warm days, pretty flowers and birdsong.

This was while the Yukon was suffering from particularly nasty late-winter weather.

But as soon as the column was published, the grotesque summer began.

So, perhaps if I write about the lovely weather in Canada and the nasty weather in Iceland, the weather gods will change their minds and give us a break for the rest of the summer.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sigrún María Kristinsdóttir is an Icelandic/Canadian writer, who until recently lived in the Yukon, but now resides in Reykjavík.

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