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Weather warnings may have been issued

Northwest Highlands


High for Friday and Saturday, moderate for timing of snow and transition to rain Sunday. Low from Monday.

  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Further outlook

Friday 19 January 2018

Weather hazards

Blizzards High likelihood Hide 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 High 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.

Severe chill effect High 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.

Poor visibility High 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.

Thunderstorms Low likelihood Show detail

Lightning is a significant mountain hazard which can result in serious injury or death. Mountain terrain often leaves one highly exposed to lightning strikes. Hail may give unpleasant conditions with torrential rain and localised flash flooding also possible, mainly in Summer months.


Bitterly cold with severe wind chill. Frequent, often heavy snow showers.

Weather at 800m

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Heavy snow Heavy snow Heavy snow Heavy snow Heavy snow Heavy snow
70% 70% 60% 70% 70% 60%
Chance of precipitation
100 100 100 200 100 100
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 SW 30 35 SW 24 30 SW 23 29 SW 24 30 W 23 29 W 20 26
900m SW 29 34 SW 24 30 SW 22 27 SW 22 28 W 22 28 W 19 25
600m SW 20 25 SW 17 22 SW 16 22 SW 16 22 SW 16 22 SW 14 20
300m SW 6 25 SW 6 22 SW 5 19 W 5 21 W 6 21 SW 4 17
Glen SW 7 17 SW 6 16 SW 6 15 SW 7 17 SW 6 14 SW 5 13

Temperature (°C) By altitude above mean sea level

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

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

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m -16 -15 -14 -14 -14 -13
900m -14 -14 -13 -13 -13 -12
600m -10 -10 -10 -9 -10 -9
300m -5 -5 -4 -4 -5 -5
Glen -3 -2 -2 -1 -2 -2
Sunrise: 08:48   Sunset: 16:18
Moon phase: New


Frequent, often heavy, snow showers, these merging at times to giving longer spells of snow, blizzards and whiteout conditions across high ground. A risk of hail and perhaps thunder.

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

10% with cloud generally persistent above 500m, often down to 200-300m in the west.


Very poor, often near zero in frequent snow showers.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Some gusts of 40-45 mph are possible across summits in heavy showers.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Sunrise: 08:46   Sunset: 16:21
Moon phase: Waxing crescent


Scattered snow showers in the morning, heaviest in the far north. These die out in the afternoon to give a sunny end to the day.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northwest 15-20 gusting 30 mph, becoming light and variable in the evening.

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

40% in the morning with frequent cloud above 600m, occasionally dropping to 400m in showers, 60% in the afternoon as cloud thins.


  • At 800m -6 Celsius
  • Glen -9 Celsius rising to -1 Celsius.
  • Freezing level 200m, rising to 400m in the afternoon.


Very good, falling very poor in showers.

Sunday 21 January 2018

Sunrise: 08:45   Sunset: 16:23
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

A dry start with high cloud and light winds. Rain spreads northeast with widespread southerly gales, perhaps initially falling as snow. This clears to scattered showers in the evening, wintery over summits with westerly gales. Freezing level 200m, rising above the summits, 1100m in evening.

Monday 22 January 2018

Sunrise: 08:43   Sunset: 16:25
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Cloudy with showers, wintry above 800-900m. Westerly gales, easing for a time. Freezing level 1000m.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Sunrise: 08:41   Sunset: 16:27
Moon phase: First quarter

Strong westerly winds becoming southwesterly later. Showers in the west, more persistent rain later. Freezing level 800-1000m, rising above the summits.

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