ASK TOM WHY: Why was there no ice and snow in Iceland on March 26?

Dear Tom,

I saw the photograph of Iceland that you showed on the WGN-TV 9 p.m. news March 26. Why was there no ice and snow in Iceland?

Jamie Smith (age 10), Chicago

 
Dear Jamie,

There is a saying that “Greenland is ice and Iceland is green,” and it’s true. Despite its location near the Arctic Circle, Iceland is surrounded by the relatively mild water of the North Atlantic, and it has a surprisingly mild climate.

After crossing the ocean, air that arrives in Iceland is cold enough to produce permanent ice and snow only at the highest elevations. Ice and snow cover only 11 percent of Iceland’s 39,800 square miles. Reykjavik, the capital, is on the coast.

Its annual snowfall is 11 inches, compared with Chicago’s 38 inches; its average January temperature is 31 degrees (24 here).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s