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Lake District - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Lake District over the next 5 days

Confidence

Generally high for the overall story for next few days, but some uncertainty in the extent of low cloud on Saturday and the extent of any rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • This evening
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Further outlook

Friday 15 February 2019

Sunset: 17:20
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Dry, clear start but cloud and outbreaks of rain or drizzle will arrive from the west accompanied by strong or gale force southerly winds. Low cloud extensive by late evening.

Saturday 16 February 2019

Weather hazards

Gales Medium 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

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

Severe chill effect Low 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

Headline

Mainly dry but windy day on the tops with low cloud at times. Patchy rain later.

Weather

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Light rain Cloudy Cloudy Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Cloudy Fog Fog
Chance of precipitation at 800m 60% 30% 10% 10% 10% 20% 40% 40%

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 SW 46 60 SW 43 56 SW 36 48 SW 29 39 SW 30 41 S 29 39 S 33 43 S 35 48
600m SW 38 54 SW 36 51 SW 30 43 SW 25 35 SW 26 37 S 24 34 S 26 38 S 28 42
300m SW 17 45 SW 17 42 SW 14 37 SW 12 30 SW 14 33 S 12 30 S 9 27 S 14 36
Valley SW 17 41 SW 16 38 SW 14 33 SW 12 28 SW 13 29 S 12 27 S 10 27 S 14 34

Temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
900m 4 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 3 ° 5 °
600m 5 ° 4 ° 4 ° 4 ° 4 ° 4 ° 5 ° 6 °
300m 7 ° 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 7 ° 7 ° 8 °
Valley 9 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 10 °

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 -4 ° -6 ° -6 ° -5 ° -5 ° -5 ° -3 ° -2 °
600m -1 ° -3 ° -3 ° -2 ° -2 ° -1 ° -1 ° 1 °
300m 3 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 3 ° 4 ° 4 ° 5 °
Valley 6 ° 5 ° 5 ° 5 ° 6 ° 7 ° 7 ° 7 °

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 1,400 m 1,200 m 1,200 m 1,100 m 1,100 m 1,200 m 1,900 m 1,800 m
Sunrise: 07:33
Sunset: 17:22
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Weather

Cloud and patchy rain overnight clearing by dawn. A dry day with bright or sunny intervals, these most prolonged towards Blencathra and Ullswater with more cloud over southern and western fells. Patchy rain or drizzle spreads north early in the evening, mostly light in nature.

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

30% in southwest, 70% in northeast. Frequent cloud above 500 or 600m in the southwest but patchier cloud with higher bases in the northeast. Best chance over ranges north and east of Helvellyn. Becoming 10% early evening with extensive cloud developing above 500m.

Visibility

Mainly good through the day under the cloud base but more generally poor early evening as cloud lowers and patchy rain arrives.

Meteorologist's view

Gusts of 50mph on the high summits during the day with a significant wind chill. Note that cloud base will lower around dusk with navigation becoming increasingly challenging.

Ground conditions

Friday 15 February Helvellyn summit at 12.35. The thaw continues - it was a ridiculous (for February!) plus 5 degrees on the summit around midday. There is no snow below 700m. Between 700m and 850m only patches of snow remain which are found in sheltered spots and hollows and are easily avoidable. Above 850m, the frequency and depth of such snow patches increases with altitude although large areas of the fells up to, and including, summit level are now free from snow. The majority of the remaining snow lies on E and N facing slopes and in sheltered gullies and, as such, is generally avoidable with two notable exceptions - namely the exits to both Striding end especially Swirral Edges. There was more snow along Swirral Edge whereas Striding Edge was simply dry, bare rock. However, both exits are guarded by banks of steep, unavoidable snow. This was quite soft on Striding Edge (although it might not be on Saturday), whereas it was hard snow on Swirral. Several people were negotiating these sections without winter equipment and it is possible to do so BUT it would not be possible to stop a fall on steep, hard snow without an ice axe hence our strong recommendation is that an ice axe remains essential for anyone tackling the edges and crampons should be carried. Although it's only for a very short section it's not a place to slip and, owing to the snow's height, depth and east facing nature, it will probably be the last snow to thaw in the Lakes. With the thaw the, albeit small, cornices situated above SE to E to N facing slopes are even more unstable, so please keep well back from such edges and advice those with less experience to do likewise. Despite the Spring-like conditions in the valleys, the summit windchill remains below freezing, so full winter clothing (waterproofs, plenty of warm layers, hat & gloves), footwear and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. Climbers - although there's still snow in the gullies, it's very soft and damage will be done to fragile alpine plants in the, hopefully unlikely, event that any routes be attempted. For those interested in the weather stats, the wind was stronger (over 30mph) on the ascent and descent compared with the summit. Temperature: plus 5.2 C. Maximum wind speed 27.5 mph. Wind chill: minus 1.1 C. Average wind speed: 20.3 mph..

Sunday 17 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:31
Sunset: 17:24
Moon phase: Full

Weather

Very windy on the tops. Patchy rain clears overnight then a dry, bright start to the morning. A band of cloud and showery rain moves east through the day, the rain not amounting to much. Clearer conditions following later.

Maximum wind speed expected

South or Southwest average 30-40mph, gusts 60mph on highest summits and exposed ridges.

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

Highly variable. 70% at first with patchy cloud cover then 20% for a few hours during the day with extensive cloud above 600m before clearing later.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 5C, falling to Plus 2C in evening.
  • Valley Plus 8C rising to 10 or 11C.
  • Freezing level Well above summits, lowing to 1000m in evening.

Visibility

Good at first but becoming hazy and occasionally poor in showery rain.

Monday 18 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:28
Sunset: 17:26
Moon phase: Full

Bright spells and passing showers, wintry on the summits. Strong southwesterly winds on the tops with significant wind chill. Freezing level around 900m.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:26
Sunset: 17:28
Moon phase: Full

Mainly dry and bright with lighter winds. A chance of some rain and summit snow with strong southwesterly winds later.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Sunrise: 07:24
Sunset: 17:30
Moon phase: Full

Rain and summit snow in early hours will clear. Then mainly dry and bright but windy on the summits.

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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