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.
Main Arctic Projects
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.
Main publications and reports
The IMO annually publishes a variety of reports, journals and articles. Below are some examples on the agency's recent publications.
- Large-scale atmospheric conditions associated with major avalanche cycles and cold season weather hazards in Iceland (2013)
- The wind energy potential of Iceland (2013)
- Surface wind and air temperature over Iceland based on station records and ECMWF operational analyses (2012)
- The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Iceland (2012)
- Empirical terrain models for surface wind and air temperature over Iceland (2012)
- Evaluation of WRF mesoscale model simulations of surface wind over Iceland (2012)
- Statistical correction of WRF mesoscale model simulations of surface wind over Iceland based on station data (2012)
- High resolution precipitation mapping in Iceland by dynamical downscaling of ERA-40 with a linear model of orographic precipitation (2012)
- Flood-Duration-Frequency modeling: application to ten catchments in Northern Iceland (2012)
- Evaluation of two delineation methods for regional flood frequency analysis in northern Iceland (2012)
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 Icelandic Meteorological Office in the social media