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Northwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Northwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

High for periods of snow at first, then clearing to wintry showers, but moderate for the extent and placement of higher snow initially.

  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Further outlook

Thursday 23 November 2017

Weather hazards

Heavy snow High likelihood Hide 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.

Learn more about heavy snow

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

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

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

Gales Low likelihood Show detail

Progress will be impeded by very strong winds. Walking will be difficult and strenuous at times with a potential for one to be blown over in gusts. There can be a marked increase in winds through cols or on exposed ridges and summits. Distances often take longer to cover with compass bearings becoming more difficult to follow accurately.

Learn more about gales

Headline

Periods of snow, locally heavy, clearing to showers from late morning.

Weather

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Heavy snow Heavy snow Heavy snow shower day Light snow shower day Heavy snow Light snow
Chance of precipitation at 800m >95% 90% 70% 70% 60% 40%

Wind speed and direction

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1000m N 21 25 N 27 31 NW 25 31 NW 30 38 W 28 35 W 31 40
900m N 20 23 N 23 27 NW 25 31 NW 29 37 W 27 34 W 31 40
600m N 15 19 N 15 18 NW 17 23 NW 20 27 W 18 26 W 21 30
300m N 6 19 N 3 20 NW 7 20 NW 7 23 W 7 23 W 9 27
Glen N 11 21 NE 6 17 NW 6 16 NW 10 26 W 8 20 W 9 25

Temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1000m -3 ° -5 ° -4 ° -4 ° -5 ° -5 °
900m -3 ° -4 ° -3 ° -3 ° -4 ° -4 °
600m -1 ° -2 ° -1 ° -1 ° -2 ° -1 °
300m -1 ° 0 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 °
Glen 1 ° 2 ° 4 ° 4 ° 3 ° 4 °

Feels like temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1000m -11 ° -14 ° -13 ° -14 ° -14 ° -14 °
900m -10 ° -12 ° -12 ° -12 ° -13 ° -13 °
600m -7 ° -8 ° -7 ° -8 ° -8 ° -9 °
300m -4 ° -2 ° -2 ° -2 ° -3 ° -3 °
Glen -3 ° -1 ° 2 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 °

Freezing level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 300 m 200 m 300 m 400 m 300 m 300 m
Sunrise: 08:22
Sunset: 15:53
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Weather

A band of snow will cover the area through to mid-morning, bringing some heavy outbreaks for a time. Conditions improving from the west mid to late morning, with a mix of brighter spells and wintry showers spreading to all, these more frequent in the western coastal ranges, such as Torridon and Assynt.

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

10-20% at first with extensive bases at 450-600m, with patches lower down, becoming 60% from late morning, with bases sporadically lowering over the peaks as showers come and go.

Visibility

Almost nil through to mid-morning, then very good between the showers thereafter.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Mean winds speeds at Glen and 300m levels look too light but gusts seem more realistic. Glen temperatures tonight will be nearer freezing inland.

Friday 24 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:24
Sunset: 15:52
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Weather

Feeling cold with wintry showers interspersed with weak sunny spells. The showers will be frequent in the west, but only occasional towards Ben Wyvis.

Maximum wind speed expected

Westerly mean 30-35mph with gusts 45mph at first, gradually easing through the day.

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

60% with bases typically 850m, but sporadically lowering 600m as showers come and go.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 03C
  • Glen Minus 03C increasing Plus 05 during afternoon, then lowering around Zero towards midnight
  • Freezing level Around 400m

Visibility

Very good between the showers.

Saturday 25 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:26
Sunset: 15:50
Moon phase: First quarter

Wintry showers continuing, heavier and more frequent across the north and west. Summit winds increasing gale or severe gale later. Freezing level 400m increasing 600m later.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:28
Sunset: 15:49
Moon phase: First quarter

Wintry showers dying away during morning, then band of rain, sleet, snow spreading from southwest later. Summit gale or severe gale winds easing and backing. Freezing level 600m increasing 900m later.

Monday 27 November 2017

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

Periods of rain and summit snow clearing with a cold, showery brisk northwesterly following.

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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