Aviation weather

Aviation weather

Information and responsibility

Contrail, condensation trail. Photographed at 33 thousand ft. south of Ingólfshöfði in October 2003. Photo: Snorri Snorrason.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) has the formal role of Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) and is therefore responsible for all weather related warnings and information for aviation over Iceland and Reykjavik FIR/CTA.

The IMO operates according to international regulations, mainly 720/2019 which is a translation of regulation 2017/373 , based in large part on ICAO Annex 3.

IMO issues  SIGMET  warnings whenever nessessary. Aerodome forecasts ( TAF ) are issued continuously for four international airports (BIKF, BIRK, BIAR and BIEG) and nine smaller domestic airports (BIBD, BIIS, BIGJ, BIGR, BIHU, BITN, BIVO, BIHN and BIVM) according to service hours found in the AIP . Aerodrome forecasts are udated every three hours during aerodrome service hours as long as observations are received. Aerodrome warnings are issued for Keflavik Airport, which are intended for ground operations within defined airport areas. Flight weather conditions over Iceland (a kind of GAMET ) are issued three times a day, and maps are also drawn showing significant weather phenomena for flights below FL150 ( SIGWX ).

Special automated weather forecasts are made for Keflavik Airport, for surface operations at the airport, and for ATS. See more details here .

Information about standardized weather observations at airports can be found under the METAR tab. In addition, real-time automated measurements from weather stations across the country are accessible. Both observations and forecasts for each airport in Iceland can be viewed by visiting the tab ' Flugvellir ,' where all issued SIGMET warnings within the area for the last 6 hours can also be seen.

Please note that runway conditions are no longer included in METAR reports. Instead, Isavia issues special SNOWTAM reports ( SNOWTAM | Isavia ).  

Information from WAFC is disseminated from a meteorological support center that provides services regarding the type and spatial distribution of weather forecasts for aviation. The website also features wind forecasts at various altitudes for Iceland and its vicinity, visual information from weather radars, and satellite imagery to provide comprehensive weather information. 

The Meteorological Office also serves as the supervisory authority for volcanoes (State Volcano Observatory). If a volcanic eruption is imminent or has occurred, a SIGMET is issued. The current status of the volcano monitoring system can be seen on a color-coded warning map updated daily at 09:00, but the map is also updated immediately when there are signs of hazards. When there are any changes in volcano activity, VONA reports (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation) are issued, specifically intended for pilots and aviation authorities. Further information about volcanoes in Iceland can be found on the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes

An aviation forecaster is available around the clock. The direct phone number can be found in the aviation manual ( AIP ). An email can also be sent to aviationweather@vedur.is if there are any questions or feedback.  

Simply clouds
Dýrafjörður in the Westfjords, June 2008: Altocumulus lenticularis. Photo: Erna B. Antonsdóttir.

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