Iceland – Signs of warning

I love these digital signs. They sit at the entrance to any road where the weather might kill you.

I like the heads-up that I’m about to casually drive into a possible shit show and I like that it gives a driver a way to factor your own odds rather than just saying, “No”.

Temp and wind speed information are transmitted from a little weather station at the point of greatest danger to the sign. The trouble spots seem to be at every mountain pass and at every finger tip of a fjord.

Yesterday I explored the road out of Isafjordur and hit one of these signs. 1 degree and a wind of 7. I assumed 7 was expressed in kilometers per hour, but after thinking about it wasn’t sure if maybe it wasn’t knots. Either way the math bored me after a few minutes and I drove on to discover to numerically expressed weather for myself. The signs have another box that I haven’t seen lit up with information. Without a label or any clues I can only assume that when weather gets bad it lights up with some percentage sign forecasting your survival rate.

The roads around the fjords are built pretty much at sea level with not much more than a few boulders keeping the sea back. If the winds were to pick up waves from the arctic sea would be breaking in the road. I noted that a wind speed of 7 meant that the road and the ocean were not in a mingling state.iceland-4640

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