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Lake District - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Lake District over the next 5 days


High confidence for a wintry spell of weather on Saturday with severe gales, heavy snowfall and poor visibility. Lower confidence about the risk of freezing rain/snow affecting low level roads and infrastructure around the Lake District on Saturday.

  • This evening
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Further outlook

Friday 14 December 2018

Sunset: 15:47
Moon phase: First quarter

A dry and mainly clear evening with a sharp frost likely to form, gales likely to continue on the summits.

Saturday 15 December 2018

Weather hazards

Gales High likelihood Hide 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.

Learn more about gales

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.

Learn more about severe chill effect

Blizzards Medium 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.

Learn more about blizzards

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.

Learn more about heavy snow

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.

Learn more about poor visibility

Storm force winds Low likelihood Show detail

Storm force winds (gusts over 70mph) make walking very strenuous with any mobility virtually impossible over exposed ground. Where these conditions occur there is a high risk of being blown over and even standing may be impossible at times with a risk of being blown off one’s feet. Basic tasks such as using a map, eating, putting on extra clothing or communication become extremely difficult away from any shelter.

Learn more about storm force winds

Heavy persistent rain Low 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.

Learn more about heavy persistent rain


Severe gales and heavy snowfall expected on the hills in the afternoon.


00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Partly cloudy night Cloudy Cloudy Overcast Light snow Heavy snow Heavy snow Light snow
Chance of precipitation at 800m <05% 10% 10% 20% 40% 70% 70% 60%

Wind speed and direction

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
900m SE 42 53 SE 42 54 SE 46 58 SE 53 66 SE 58 73 SE 61 78 SE 58 74 SE 50 65
600m SE 40 56 SE 41 58 SE 44 61 SE 48 66 SE 46 63 SE 48 66 SE 46 64 SE 39 56
300m SE 17 40 SE 17 40 SE 18 43 SE 20 49 SE 20 51 SE 23 58 SE 21 54 SE 19 48
Valley SE 9 29 SE 10 30 SE 12 33 SE 15 40 SE 16 43 SE 20 51 SE 20 50 SE 16 41


00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
900m -4 ° -4 ° -4 ° -5 ° -4 ° -4 ° -4 ° -2 °
600m -3 ° -3 ° -4 ° -4 ° -4 ° -3 ° -3 ° -1 °
300m -1 ° -1 ° -1 ° -1 ° -1 ° -1 ° -1 ° 1 °
Valley 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 2 ° 1 ° 1 ° 3 °

Feels like temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
900m -15 ° -15 ° -15 ° -16 ° -16 ° -16 ° -15 ° -13 °
600m -13 ° -14 ° -14 ° -15 ° -15 ° -14 ° -13 ° -10 °
300m -7 ° -7 ° -7 ° -8 ° -8 ° -8 ° -8 ° -5 °
Valley -3 ° -3 ° -3 ° -4 ° -4 ° -5 ° -5 ° -2 °

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 100 m 100 m 0 m 0 m 0 m 100 m 200 m 500 m
Sunrise: 08:28
Sunset: 15:47
Moon phase: First quarter


A dry start to the day with some clear spells, cloud will soon thicken and winds strengthen as an active band of rain, sleet and snow moves in from the West. There will be some light snow from lunchtime but this will soon become heavy and persistent and combined with severe gales there will be blizzard conditions on the fells with severe wind chill. At lower levels there is a risk of freezing rain which may affect access roads around the Lake District. Snow will continue into the evening with accumulations of up to 20cm likely on higher hills.

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

90% in the morning becoming less than 5% by mid afternoon with extensive low cloud bases falling to around 4-600m widely.


Visibility in the morning will begood, falling moderate by lunchtime. It will become very poor in the afternoon and in heavy snow and blizzards, whiteout conditions are likely.

Meteorologist's view

Storm force gusts are likely on ridges and summits. Severe chill effect likely with the extreme wintry conditions.

Ground conditions

Friday 14 December. Location: Helvellyn summit at 1250. The Lakeland Fells remain free from snow at all levels with the majority of paths and rocks being dry. There were, though, isolated patches of ice on paths and some rocks were slippery owing to a covering of frost or verglas (thin ice). These, though, were definitely the exception. For walkers out on Saturday, however, the above description of ground conditions is academic as the Lake District is under a yellow warning for snow and ice from 9am and an amber warning for ice/freezing rain from 10am. With a summit temperature of minus 5 today and temperatures below freezing all day above 300m, any snow will quickly settle. Conditions will, therefore, be extremely demanding on the fells on Saturday - probably with extremely poor visibility or whiteout conditions given the forecasted strength of the winds. Conversely, the pubs will be inviting, warm and dry! Full winter clothing (waterproofs, plenty of warm layers, hat & gloves), footwear and equipment (including a headtorch) are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. A map and compass and the ability to use them in extremely poor visibility are also essential for anyone venturing out into the fells on Saturday. Do you really, though, want to go out in these forecasted conditions? Temperature: minus 4.7 deg C. Maximum wind speed 31.2 mph. Wind chill: minus 16.2 deg C. Average wind speed: 22.2 mph.

Sunday 16 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:29
Sunset: 15:48
Moon phase: First quarter


A cloudy day with some showers these will be wintry on the hills above 700m. There will be some breaks in the cloud with some sunny periods possible particularly in the east of the Lake District. Cloud will increase later in the day as more outbreaks of rain and snow cross the area in the evening.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southwesterly winds will be around 20mph with gusts of 25-30mph during daylight hours at 800m

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

70% chance of cloud free tops, cloud base will lower to around 700m for a time in showers but generally this will be short lived.


  • At 800m Zero Celsius
  • Valley Plus 5 Celsius
  • Freezing level 800m


Outwith showers visibility will be very good with good views likely, in showers visibility will become poor for a time particularly wintry showers.

Monday 17 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:30
Sunset: 15:48
Moon phase: First quarter

A dry bright start to the day with light southwesterly winds, winds will strengthen later as a band of rain edges in from the west although it will not affect the area until after dark. Freezing level will be 800m rising to above the summits in the evening.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:31
Sunset: 15:48
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

It may be a dry start but outbreaks of rain will spread to all parts by lunchtime and it will be a wet and windy afternoon with gales likely. Freezing level above the summits

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:31
Sunset: 15:48
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Mainly dry and cloudy but some sunny intervals are possible, moderate southerly winds.

Issued at:
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The Lake District covers an area of 885 square miles with its highest point, Scafell Pike, standing at 978 metres.

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. From its summit, the view spans from the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland to Snowdonia in Wales. The Lake District also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England; Wastwater and Windermere.

Much smaller than its Scottish counterparts, but no less breathtaking, is the Lake District National Park. While unarguably most famous for the lakes and waters from which it took its name, the National Park certainly has plenty to offer climbers as well. Not only that, special routes have been created (known as Miles Without Stiles) to offer more laid back, moderate walks.

Those looking for a challenge are suitably catered for with the Lakeland Fells, as made famous by rambler and cartographer Alfred Wainwright. These include some of the highest peaks in England: Scafell Pike (978 metres), Scafell (965 metres), Helvellyn (951 metres) and Skiddaw (931 metres).

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