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Northwest Highlands

Confidence

High for generally mild type, low for cloud details especially on Friday.

  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Further outlook

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Weather hazards

Severe chill effect High likelihood Hide 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.

Heavy persistent rain High likelihood Show detail

Heavy and persistent rain can lead to drenched clothing and footwear with waterproofs often becoming soaked through, especially if accompanied by strong winds. This can lead to significant loss of body heat and an increased likelihood of hypothermia. Terrain may turn increasingly boggy underfoot while streams can flood and become impassable. There may also be a risk of flooding in valleys or glens. If there is snow cover, a heightened avalanche hazard is possible and avalanche reports should be consulted where available.

Heavy snow Medium likelihood Show detail

Heavy snow can lead to rapid changes in underfoot conditions and paths may become treacherous or hidden. It also brings very poor visibility and often makes navigation much more challenging. When deep snow accumulates progress is often time consuming and strenuous, significantly affecting the distance one can travel on foot. Deep drifts can develop if snow is combined with strong winds. A heightened avalanche risk is possible and avalanche reports should be consulted where available.

Gales Medium likelihood Show detail

Gale force winds (gusts over 50mph) make walking difficult and strenuous with a potential to be blown over by gusts. There is often a marked increase in winds through cols or on exposed ridges and summits. Distances can take longer to cover and compass bearings become harder to follow accurately.

Poor visibility Medium likelihood Show 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.

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.

Headline

Bright or sunny spells and a few showers, of snow on the tops. Then more persistent cloud, rain and summit snow setting in later in the day, with southerly summit gales.

Weather at 800m

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Light snow Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Light snow shower day Light snow Heavy snow
20% 20% 20% 30% 30% 80%
Chance of precipitation
800 800 900 900 900 1,200
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
1000m W 20 24 SW 14 17 S 13 18 S 19 24 SE 26 33 SE 32 40
900m W 20 23 SW 13 16 S 13 17 S 19 24 SE 24 31 SE 29 37
600m W 13 17 SW 9 12 S 11 15 S 14 20 SE 18 25 SE 21 30
300m W 4 17 SW 1 11 S 4 11 S 6 15 SE 6 17 SE 7 22
Glen SW 2 7 E 1 4 S 3 11 S 6 16 SE 6 19 SE 10 26

Temperature (°C) By altitude above mean sea level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m -1 -1 -1 0 -1 -1
900m 0 0 0 1 0 0
600m 2 2 2 3 2 2
300m 4 4 5 5 5 4
Glen 6 6 7 8 7 7

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

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m -8 -7 -6 -7 -8 -9
900m -7 -5 -5 -6 -7 -8
600m -3 -2 -2 -2 -3 -4
300m 3 3 3 3 2 1
Glen 5 6 6 6 5 4
Sunrise: 07:43   Sunset: 17:30
Moon phase: Full

Weather

Clear then sunny intervals and a few passing showers these of snow above 800m. Then more persistent cloud, rain and summit snow setting in from mid to late afternoon, with strong summit winds perhaps bringing temporary blizzard conditions, though the snow turning to rain at all levels by midnight, and becoming heavy especially over Skye.

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

30% with broken cloud at 450-750m, falling 10% in the evening as cloud becomes overcast, and bases fall to 300-450m.

Visibility

Mostly good away from cloud and showers by day but falling poor later in snow and blowing snow then heavy rain

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Highest wind speeds and chill effect in the post-dusk period, when it could reach 55mph on the highest tops.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:40   Sunset: 17:32
Moon phase: Full

Weather

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain, some heavy in the morning. Then turning more showery from mid afternoon with increasing clear spells in the evening.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southerly 40 gusts 55mph in early hours increasing 55 gusts 75mph in the morning, easing southwesterly 40 gusts 50mph in the evening.

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

10-20% with widespread cloud at 450-600m improving 70% in the evening as cloud becomes well broken leaving some capping cloud on the tops.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 4 Celsius
  • Glen Plus 8 Celsius falling Plus 4 later in evening
  • Freezing level Above summits, falling to 1100m later in the evening.

Visibility

Poor in the morning and early afternoon in rain and drizzle then improving to mainly good late afternoon and evening away from cloud and any showers.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:38   Sunset: 17:34
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

Mostly cloudy, some hill fog, and a little light rain or drizzle at times, perhaps some brightness in Sutherland. Freezing level above summits. South to southwesterly gales.

Friday 22 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:35   Sunset: 17:37
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

Rather cloudy though a better chance of some bright or sunny spells developing. Severe southwest gales on the tops but freezing levels well above the summits.

Saturday 23 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:33   Sunset: 17:39
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

Dry with well broken cloud allowing some sunny spells. Severe southerly gales on the tops, but temperature levels exceptionally mild.

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