Tag Archives: Selfoss

It sure is cold outside!

Christmas lights in Selfoss

Since the beginning of December we have had temperatures well below zero, more than – 20° C some days. Last night it was -16° C. Circumstances have been compared to the winter of 1918, but temperatures this low for such an extended period have not been recorded here in Iceland since then. Talking about extremes, November also broke a record for being the warmest November since the beginning of the century. 

Here we are in the middle of January and although forecasts predict temperatures above zero it is only for a day or two and then again frosty weather.

Here in Selfoss there are heaps of snow and with this continuing we do not foresee it melting until spring. Also, it will be interesting to see the heating bills once they arrive. Thanks to hot geothermal water our houses are mostly warm and only big users like swimming pools that have had to close down temporarily.

Not only has the weather been compared to 1918 but also the health of the nation. That year the Spanish flu, also known as the Great Influenza, is believed to have infected  around 500 million people all over the world.  Now cases of influenza, COVID, RS virus and other respiratory diseases have surged in Iceland and medical centres and hospitals are overcrowded with patients. Thanks to advances in medical science we are nowhere near what happened in 1918.

Now we should just try to enjoy the snow and the Northern Lights that are at a peak at this time of year.
We hope you enjoy these pictures from Selfoss, taken in December and January.

Better times ahead

View to Ölfusá River from our window

It is November already and Christmas around the corner. How time flies. Our web ORNOSK.COM has not been up to par the last year or so. However, better times are ahead. We have moved the hosting to Iceland and problems with SSL certificate and Facebook sharing have been resolved. The last two years have been very special for us, to say the least. Not only COVID restrictions but also some health issues. Yes, we have been seriously reminded that we are not growing any younger. – Our resolve is to continue blogging and emphasise the essential role birds have in our ecosystems.

On the river

River Ölfusá in January

River Ölfusá is a popular spot for birds especially during the winter time when creeks and lakes are frozen over. Due to spring water, part of the river never becomes frozen. There are several species of Gulls, mostly Iceland Gull, Whooper Swans and ducks.

River Ölfusá starts about 8 km north of Selfoss where two rivers join, a spring water river and a glacial river. One is River Hvítá which is mainly originated from the glacier Langjökull. The other is River Sog which is the biggest spring water river in Iceland. It comes from Lake Thingvallavatn (Þingvallavatn) which is usually the biggest lake in Iceland.

Clear skies, snow and frost

Ölfusá River in Selfoss, South Iceland

On Monday night we had a blizzard with blocked roads and the like. The last two days, however, have been exceptionally beautiful. Clear skies and calm winds, snow and ice everywhere. Winter days do not get much better than this if we leave out how difficult it is to get around, the dangerously slippery  conditions and the frost that has been down to minus 10°.

Ölfusá River and Mount Ingólfsfjall
Mount Ingólfsfjall

Cold Christmas day

Christmas Day was cold and windy in Selfoss. Lots of snow and temperatures below zero, – 9°C.  The same can be said for most of the country but in the North temperatures went down to – 20° C.

Christmas day. Selfoss and Ölfusá River

Reykjavík is the only capital in Europe to have snow this Christmas. That is unusual for this time of year  because in most capitals in East Europe and Scandinavia that would be the norm.

Strong and bright Northern Lights


This evening the Northern lights over Selfoss were so strong and bright that the lights from the town did not affect them.  A group of people had gathered, many of them tourist, and the atmosphere was filled with excitement. Every time the lights danced across the sky you could hear people applause, and I did too.


Info on Northern Lights on Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora