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North Grampian - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting North Grampian over the next 5 days


High for stormy conditions on Wednesday. High for it to remain unsettled for the rest of the week but low confidence for details, especially for the northwards extent of rain on Thursday.

  • This evening
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Further outlook

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Sunset: 19:26
Moon phase: First quarter

A mainly dry evening with isolated showers but the showers will become more frequent in the west late in the evening. South or southwesterly gales increasing to gale or severe gale force through the evening.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Weather hazards

Storm force winds High likelihood Hide 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

Gales High 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.

Learn more about gales

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.

Learn more about poor visibility

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.

Learn more about heavy persistent rain

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.

Learn more about severe chill effect

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.

Learn more about blizzards

Heavy snow Low 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

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.

Learn more about thunderstorms


Stormy conditions and heavy rain or summit snow.


00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Heavy shower night Partly cloudy night Partly cloudy night Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy shower day Sleet shower night Sleet shower night
Chance of precipitation at 800m 60% 30% 50% 90% 80% 80% 80% 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
1300m S 51 66 SW 46 59 S 47 61 SE 51 65 S 65 86 SW 59 79 SW 54 72 SW 56 74
900m S 49 61 SW 46 58 S 47 60 SE 49 62 S 58 77 SW 54 73 SW 48 65 SW 51 67
600m S 29 42 SW 28 43 S 30 47 SE 30 46 S 36 58 SW 36 59 SW 31 51 SW 32 52
300m S 16 38 SW 17 40 SW 18 42 SE 16 40 S 30 52 SW 40 52 SW 28 45 SW 20 48
Glen SW 6 30 SW 7 29 SW 7 31 S 5 20 S 30 42 SW 30 46 SW 28 45 SW 9 37


00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m 2 ° 1 ° 1 ° 2 ° 2 ° 0 ° 0 ° -1 °
900m 6 ° 5 ° 6 ° 6 ° 5 ° 3 ° 3 ° 2 °
600m 8 ° 7 ° 7 ° 8 ° 8 ° 6 ° 6 ° 5 °
300m 10 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 10 ° 8 ° 7 ° 7 °
Glen 10 ° 9 ° 8 ° 10 ° 12 ° 10 ° 9 ° 7 °

Feels like temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m -7 ° -8 ° -8 ° -7 ° -8 ° -10 ° -10 ° -11 °
900m -1 ° -3 ° -1 ° -2 ° -3 ° -5 ° -5 ° -6 °
600m 4 ° 2 ° 2 ° 3 ° 3 ° -1 ° 0 ° -1 °
300m 7 ° 5 ° 5 ° 5 ° 7 ° 3 ° 3 ° 2 °
Glen 8 ° 6 ° 5 ° 9 ° 9 ° 6 ° 5 ° 3 °

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 1,600 m 1,500 m 1,300 m 2,100 m 1,500 m 1,300 m 1,300 m 1,200 m
Sunrise: 06:52
Sunset: 19:23
Moon phase: First quarter


Severe gale or storm force winds through most of the day. A period of heavy rain from early morning until around late-morning will clear to be followed by frequent, heavy and squally showers. Some of the showers could contain hail and thunder, and turning to sleet or wet snow later on the Munro summits. The showers will become less frequent through the evening.

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

20%. Periods of cloud above around 600 or 700m.


Often poor at height due to heavy rain or showers. Becoming good at times at low levels between showers.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Severe and hazardous conditions with gusts of 100mph likely early afternoon above 900m. Mobility will be extremely difficult across exposed high ground with a significant wind chill developing too.

Thursday 20 September 2018

Sunrise: 06:55
Sunset: 19:20
Moon phase: First quarter


Clear spells and showers overnight then bright spells through the morning with showers dying out. Cloud will increase through the afternoon.

Maximum wind speed expected

West or Southwest 45mph gusts 60mph overnight but easing 20mph with gusts 30mph by afternoon.

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

40% at first due to occasional cloud cover above 600-800m, becoming 80% during the afternoon as cloud lifts and breaks.


  • At 800m Plus 6 Celsius.
  • Glen Plus 9 rising to 14 Celsius.
  • Freezing level Just above the summits.


Good air clarity between showers but reducing to a few kilometres or less at times in the morning as showers pass through.

Friday 21 September 2018

Sunrise: 06:57
Sunset: 19:18
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

A mixture of bright spells and blustery showers, some possibly heavy and thundery and falling as sleet or wet snow on the Munro tops. The showers most frequent in the west. Feeling cold with fresh or strong westerly winds.

Saturday 22 September 2018

Sunrise: 06:59
Sunset: 19:15
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Early showers dying out then dry and bright for most of the day with easing winds. Thicker cloud may arrive from the southwest late in the day.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Sunrise: 07:01
Sunset: 19:12
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Very unsettled conditions are likely with heavy rain and strong winds possible.

Issued at:
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Includes the North and West Cairngorms National Park, Monadhliath, Ben Alder, Creag Meagaidh, Loch Ericht and Loch Rannoch.

The North Grampian region includes a large part of the Cairngorm National Park and the Balmoral Estate, the Scottish home of the Royal family since 1852. Five of the UK's six highest mountains lie inside Cairngorm National park, and there are 55 Munros (mountains over 3,000 ft). You will also find three of Scotland’s five ski centres including the Glenshee Ski Centre, the largest in the UK. The centre extends across four mountains, Glas Maol the largest at 1,068 metres and Carn Aosda the smallest at 917 metres, and includes 36 different ski runs.

Most people agree that Creag Meagaidh in Glen Spean is where the east highlands meet the west highlands. It is also this location which provides one of the area's most popular activities - ice climbing. This is thanks to its vast plateau from which five Munros (that seem almost made for climbing) stretch out. Seeing as plenty is on offer for visitors and it is crammed in a relatively small area, it should come as no surprise that the Creag Meagaidh area has been praised as offering all that is good about the Highlands in a single nature reserve.

For snow and avalanche hazard forecasts please visit Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service

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