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Northwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Northwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

High for a milder spell then colder conditions returning but lower for the timing of the colder weather returning, low for extent of improvements during the day on Friday and the chance of a spell of more persistent snow on Saturday

  • This evening
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Further outlook

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Sunset: 16:27
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

Clear intervals and occasional snow showers, these mostly across Wester Ross and North Sutherland but a few pushing well inland at times. The showers sleety at lower levels near the west coast. Some hill fog patches. Fresh to strong westerly summit winds bringing a severe wind chill.

Thursday 24 January 2019

Weather hazards

Severe chill effect Medium 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.

Learn more about severe chill effect

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

Strong sunlight Medium likelihood Show detail

Harmful UV levels from sunlight increase with altitude giving a greater risk of sunburn and eye damage, even on some overcast days. On breezy days, the cooling effect of wind on exposed skin may disguise any feeling of sunburn until it is too late. If there is snow cover, glare increases the effect of UV rays especially on the eyes. It is advisable to wear sun block, protective clothing such as a long-sleeved top and hat and have good quality eye protection.

Learn more about strong sunlight

Gales Low 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

Headline

Dry with some sunshine and light winds by day, then cloudy with snow turning to rain in the evening, winds strengthening by midnight.

Weather

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Light snow shower night Light snow shower night Partly cloudy night Cloudy Cloudy Sunny intervals Sleet shower Heavy rain
Chance of precipitation at 800m 40% 30% 20% <05% 10% 10% 30% 70%

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
1000m W 17 20 W 15 18 W 14 17 SW 10 12 S 11 14 S 18 22 S 22 27 SW 31 38
900m W 16 19 W 15 18 W 13 16 SW 10 12 S 11 14 S 17 22 S 22 26 SW 30 36
600m W 11 14 W 10 13 SW 8 10 SW 7 9 S 8 12 S 10 15 S 14 19 SW 20 26
300m W 2 13 W 2 12 W 2 10 SW 2 7 SW 2 9 SW 3 12 S 3 14 SW 5 19
Glen N 1 5 W 2 6 SW 1 5 E 2 4 E 2 5 E 2 7 SE 2 8 E 3 11

Temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1000m -4 ° -4 ° -4 ° -4 ° -3 ° -3 ° -2 ° 1 °
900m -3 ° -3 ° -4 ° -3 ° -2 ° -2 ° -1 ° 2 °
600m -1 ° -1 ° -2 ° -1 ° 0 ° 0 ° 1 ° 3 °
300m 0 ° 0 ° -1 ° -1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 4 °
Glen 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 1 ° 3 ° 4 ° 4 ° 4 °

Feels like temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1000m -11 ° -11 ° -11 ° -9 ° -9 ° -9 ° -9 ° -8 °
900m -10 ° -10 ° -10 ° -8 ° -8 ° -8 ° -8 ° -7 °
600m -6 ° -6 ° -6 ° -5 ° -5 ° -4 ° -5 ° -4 °
300m -2 ° -2 ° -3 ° -3 ° -1 ° 0 ° -1 ° 0 °
Glen 1 ° 0 ° 1 ° 0 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 3 °

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 300 m 300 m 300 m 300 m 400 m 500 m 900 m 1,500 m
Sunrise: 08:40
Sunset: 16:29
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

Weather

A few snow showers in early hours, these becoming confined to the coastal northwest by daybreak with some long clear spells and a frost at all levels. Dry during daylight hours and bright with some hazy sunshine at times. Cloud and snow arriving during the evening the snow quickly turning to rain at lower levels then up to the summits later.

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

40% overnight with some occasional cloud on the tops especially in showers rising 80% during the day with only small amounts of low cloud. Then chances decreasing quickly in evening down to 10% or less as widespread cloud at 300-600m arrives, and down to near sea level along the west coast..

Visibility

Mostly very good, locally poor in passing snow showers in early hours and any shallow freezing fog patches in the glens. Falling poor in rain snow drizzle or mist in the evening.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Some glens could be down to Minus 7 in the morning.

Friday 25 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:38
Sunset: 16:32
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

Weather

Rain in early hours turning showery, and then mainly dry through daylight hours. The north may brighten especially in Caithness and Sutherland but Glenshiel and Knoydart staying cloudy with some rain returning later in the afternoon and spreading quickly northeast, preceded by a short spell of snow and possibly remaining as snow in the far north.

Maximum wind speed expected

Westerly 40 gusts 55mph easing in the evening

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

20% in south with cloud unlikely to clear, 60% for a time in north with broken cloud likely then chances diminishing quickly towards evening. Low confidence for the detail.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 4 Celsius falling to Minus 1 in the north
  • Glen Plus 6 Celsius at midnight rising to Plus 9
  • Freezing level Above summits falling to 750m in north

Visibility

Good visibility in the brighter weather in the northeast but becoming poor in the rain spreading from the southwest and any snow in the north.

Saturday 26 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:36
Sunset: 16:34
Moon phase: Third quarter

Low confidence for any detail, but the general idea is for mild wet conditions overnight clearing at some point during the day to much colder northerly winds with some snow showers, freezing levels dropping to 200m by evening. Uncertainties relate to the timing of this change and whether there will be a more prolonged spell of snow before it turns showery.

Sunday 27 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:34
Sunset: 16:36
Moon phase: Third quarter

Bitterly cold and strong northerly winds will bring further snow showers, most frequent in the north of the area towards Sutherland Wester Ross and Skye, and fewest around Glen Affric with the best of the sunshine here. Freezing at all levels.

Monday 28 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:32
Sunset: 16:38
Moon phase: Third quarter

Snow showers in north dying out in early hours. Dry overnight, but a band of snow spreading from the west in the morning followed by clearer weather with showers in the afternoon the showers turning to rain below about 400m. Strong westerly winds on the summits bringing a severe wind chill

Issued at:
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Separated from the Grampians by the Great Glen the region includes Sutherland, Ben Wyvis, Wester Ross, The Cuillin, Glen Affric, Glen Shiel and Knoydart.

The Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye are among the steepest mountains in the UK and include 15 peaks above 3,000 feet (900 metres). There are two main ridges; the magnificent Black Cuillins and the Red Cuillins around Loch Coruisk to the south.

Torridon has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland which includes Beinn Eighe, a long ridge with many spurs and summits, two of which are classified as Munros. Beinne Eighe also includes Britain's first ever national nature reserve where you may spot golden eagles, buzzards, pine martins and wild cats on your travels.

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

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