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Lake District

Confidence

High for a mostly fine day on Tuesday with cloud and rain and snow spreading east later. Confidence also high for largely settled conditions later in week.

  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Further outlook

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Weather hazards

Poor visibility High likelihood Hide detail

Poor visibility presents challenging route finding conditions. Visibility could be significantly less than 50 metres in all directions with few or no visual references, especially on featureless moors or plateaux. Distances become hard to judge and cliff or cornice edges can be difficult to recognise. These conditions require good navigational skills. There is a risk of white-out conditions when mist or fog is combined with extensive snow cover.

Gales Medium likelihood Show detail

Progress will be impeded by very strong winds. Walking will be difficult and strenuous at times with a potential for one to be blown over in gusts. There can be a marked increase in winds through cols or on exposed ridges and summits. Distances often take longer to cover with compass bearings becoming more difficult to follow accurately.

Severe chill effect Medium likelihood Show detail

Wind significantly lowers the ‘feels-like’ temperature relative to the actual temperature, with even moderate winds significantly adding to the chilling effect. Strong winds can result in a severe and debilitating wind chill many degrees below the actual temperature. This effect will be enhanced in rain or wet snow. Without protection, prolonged exposure could result in frost nip or frostbite on exposed parts of the body and/or hypothermia.

Blizzards Low likelihood Show detail

Blizzards and whiteouts present challenging and serious conditions due to a combination of falling or blowing snow, strong winds and cold temperatures. They can be highly disorientating, often resulting in near-zero visibility with limited or no visual references and no distinction between ground and sky. Cliff edges and cornices may not be apparent, even close up. These conditions require very good navigational skills.

Heavy snow Low likelihood Show detail

Expect snow to rapidly accumulate with deep drifts also possible during windy conditions. Progress will be time consuming and physically strenuous, which will significantly affect the distance one is able to travel on foot. Paths will become hidden and difficult to follow, while very poor visibility during snowfall will make route-finding challenging. A heightened avalanche risk is likely and avalanche reports should be consulted where available.

Headline

Dry with clear or sunny spells. Becoming cloudy with evening snow

Weather at 800m

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Partly cloudy night Sunny day Light snow shower day Light snow Sleet shower Cloudy
00% <05% 20% 20% 90% 10%
Chance of precipitation
200 400 600 700 800 1,000
Freezing level (m)
The level above which snow is expected to settle or the ground is expected to be frozen

Wind speed and direction (mph) By altitude above mean sea level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
900m SW 11 13 S 20 23 S 23 27 S 30 36 SW 39 48 W 32 39
600m SW 11 13 SW 15 18 S 14 18 S 22 30 SW 33 43 W 27 37
300m SW 4 9 SW 5 15 S 4 14 S 6 21 SW 11 34 W 10 28
Valley W 0 4 E 0 6 SE 2 9 SW 4 19 SW 10 31 W 9 27

Temperature (°C) By altitude above mean sea level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
900m -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 0
600m -2 -1 0 0 1 2
300m -2 0 1 2 2 3
Valley -3 0 2 3 5 6

Feels like temperature (°C) By altitude above mean sea level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
900m -8 -8 -9 -9 -10 -8
600m -7 -6 -6 -7 -7 -5
300m -5 -3 -1 -1 -2 0
Valley -5 -2 1 2 1 3
Sunrise: 08:25   Sunset: 15:48
Moon phase: Third quarter

Weather

A dry bright morning with plenty of sunshine. This will turn hazy as high cloud spreads in from the west through the morning. Cloud thickens in the afternoon with a few isolated showers from midday, falling as snow above 600m. Heavier, more persistent rain, and snow above 600-700m, spreads east after dusk, turning to rain at all levels as it clears by around 7 or 8pm. Then dry with the odd clear spell for the rest of the evening and night.

Chance of cloud-free mountain/hill tops at 800m

Around 90% at dawn with only small amounts of cloud expected below summit level. Becoming 60% from around midday with occasional cloud developing above 600-700m. Then nil around dusk with cloud becoming persistent above about 500m, especially across southern and western ranges, with patches below.

Visibility

Very good falling to a few kilometres in snow and a kilometre or less in heavier snow. Visibility just a few hundred metres in any low level freezing fog patches.

Meteorologist's view

Gusts around 50mph expected over ridges and summits during the evening. With sub-zero temperatures at all but the lowest levels a significant chill effect is expected

Ground conditions

Fell Top Assessor's report Monday 11 December. Location: Helvellyn summit at 13:00. Full report: Ground conditions have remained fairly similar since Friday; the exception being the amount of ice below 300m as snow thaws during the day and freezes hard overnight. On popular routes, as walkers divert to avoid this ice a wider band of ice is often created making conditions treacherous - especially in descent. Walking poles to aid stability can help. Aside from the ice, there is little significant snow below 300m. Above 300m, the average snow depth rises with height although actual coverage varies considerably from virtually nothing on windswept areas, such as large parts of the summit plateau, to drifts of 60cm above 900m on sheltered SE to E facing aspects. Such depth, though, is definitely the exception with drifts in sheltered spots and hollows of anything between 5cm and 15cm being more commonplace. The snowpack is very soft, apart from where it has been compacted on popular routes making conditions challenging. Full winter clothing and footwear (including extra layers and waterproofs that can double as windproofs) are essential for anyone venturing out onto the high fells as are the usual torch, map & compass and the ability to use them. For those attempting, or traversing, steep routes above the snowline, an ice axe and crampons are strongly recommended in case ice is encountered. Although the snowpack is mostly soft, there were isolated patches of harder snow on the exit to Striding Edge today as well as some older patches of hard snow under younger, softer layers with the 2 layers not having bonded. Climbers, owing to the extremely soft nature of the snowpack, the gullies are not in condition and potential damage to fragile alpine plants could be done if you undertake them. Temperature: minus 4.8 C Maximum wind speed 21.0 mph Wind chill: minus 13.6 C Average wind speed: 12.5 mph

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Sunrise: 08:26   Sunset: 15:47
Moon phase: Third quarter

Weather

A mostly cloudy morning outbreaks of rain and summit snow. Becoming brighter and drier in the afternoon but snow showers spreading east through the evening.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southwesterly winds around 20-25mph, gusts around 40mph veering more westerly and increasing 30-35mph, with gusts 50mph over ridges and summits around the middle of the day. Winds then ease through the later afternoon and evening.

Chance of cloud-free mountain/hill tops at 800m

Little chance through the morning with periods or persistent cloud above about 450m, especially across southern and western fells. Chances improve to around 70% during the afternoon with occasional cloud above about 600m, before cloud increases during the evening.

Temperature

  • At 800m Around plus 1 Celsius falling to minus 3 Celsius during the late afternoon and evening.
  • Valley Around plus 4 Celsius rising to plus 6 Celsius, falling to plus 2 Celsius in the evening.
  • Freezing level Around 900m falling back to 300m later.

Visibility

Good falling to just a few kilometres in rain and perhaps a kilometre or less in snow and evening snow showers. Drifting snow over the higher summits will also reduce visibility considerably.

Thursday 14 December 2017

Sunrise: 08:27   Sunset: 15:47
Moon phase: Waning crescent

Clear or sunny spells and snow showers. Strong westerly winds easing. Freezing level rising to around 450m.

Friday 15 December 2017

Sunrise: 08:28   Sunset: 15:47
Moon phase: Waning crescent

Mainly dry with long clear or sunny spells. Strengthening northerly winds. Freezing level falling to 300m or less.

Saturday 16 December 2017

Sunrise: 08:29   Sunset: 15:48
Moon phase: Waning crescent

Dry start with clear or sunny spells, but increasing risk of snow showers later. Occasionally strong northerly winds becoming more westerly and easing. Freezing level 300m or less.

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