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Northwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Northwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

Quite high for some rain to start Thursday but lower for the timing of the gradual brightening later Thursday and how far it gets into the far northeast. Reasonable over the weekend, but falling low by Monday.

  • This evening
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Further outlook

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Sunset: 19:28
Moon phase: Waning crescent

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain, some heavy and accompanied by fairly widespread poor visibility due to cloud on hills.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Weather hazards

Poor visibility High likelihood Hide 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 Low likelihood Show detail

Prolonged exposure to heavy rain can result in drenched clothing and a risk of hypothermia if not wearing good quality waterproofs. Terrain may turn increasingly boggy underfoot, while mountain streams will rapidly rise into spate and may 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

Strong sunlight Low 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

Forecast

Cloudy with occasional rain and hill fog, with a gradual improvement spreading in from the southwest later Thursday.

Weather

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Heavy rain Heavy rain Light rain Light rain Light shower day Light shower day Sunny intervals Clear night
Chance of precipitation at 800m 80% 70% 70% 70% 50% 30% 20% 10%

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
1100m N 7 9 N 7 9 N 6 8 NW 8 10 NW 12 15 NW 13 16 W 12 14 S 14 18
900m N 7 9 N 7 9 N 6 8 NW 8 10 NW 12 15 NW 12 15 W 11 14 S 14 17
600m N 6 8 N 6 9 N 5 7 NW 5 7 NW 8 11 W 9 12 SW 7 10 S 10 13
300m N 5 8 N 4 7 N 3 6 NW 4 8 NW 6 12 W 5 11 W 3 9 S 3 10
Glen N 4 7 N 3 7 W 2 5 W 3 6 NW 4 10 W 3 7 SW 2 6 E 2 6

Temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1100m 6 ° 5 ° 5 ° 5 ° 4 ° 4 ° 4 ° 3 °
900m 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 5 ° 5 ° 5 ° 4 ° 4 °
600m 8 ° 8 ° 7 ° 7 ° 7 ° 7 ° 7 ° 6 °
300m 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 10 ° 9 ° 7 °
Glen 11 ° 11 ° 11 ° 11 ° 11 ° 12 ° 12 ° 9 °

Feels like temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1100m 3 ° 3 ° 3 ° 2 ° 0 ° -1 ° 0 ° -1 °
900m 4 ° 4 ° 4 ° 3 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 0 °
600m 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 5 ° 4 ° 5 ° 3 °
300m 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 9 ° 9 ° 6 °
Glen 11 ° 11 ° 10 ° 11 ° 11 ° 12 ° 11 ° 9 °

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 2,300 m 2,000 m 1,900 m 1,800 m 1,700 m 1,500 m 1,400 m 1,300 m
Sunrise: 07:04
Sunset: 19:25
Moon phase: New

Weather

Cloudy with further rain at times, with some heavy bursts possible in the morning, turning lighter and more patchy in the afternoon. Some brighter weather will push into Skye and west coast ranges by the end of the morning and this will push steadily across Wester Ross in the afternoon but a later improvement for Ben Wyvis and the far northeast towards Ben Loyal and Morven will probably see little improvement before nightfall.

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

10% overnight and into the morning with cloud widely down to 450-600m, then increasing to 70% on the west coast by afternoon, with increasing prospects reaching all but the far northeast by evening.

Visibility

Even below the cloud, outbreaks of rain and mist will give moderate, occasionally poor visibility until the clearer weather arrives from the southwest.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

The lowest freezing levels in the late evening will be associated with drier clearer conditions.

Friday 22 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:06
Sunset: 19:22
Moon phase: New

Weather

A cold night with perhaps a touch of frost in some eastern glens. Then a dry start to Friday in the east with some early sunny intervals towards Ben Wyvis and the Sutherland hills. Meanwhile rain arriving over Skye by daybreak will edge east through the morning. A few heavy bursts are possible for a time towards Skye and Wester Ross but it will turn light and patchy as it spreads further east in the afternoon while brighter weather will probably return to the Northwest towards evening. Some clear spells will then develop more widely across the north in the evening but some low cloud will linger across southern hills.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 4 Celsius rising to Plus 8 Celsius during the day.
  • Glen Down to 2 Celsius in places overnight gradually rising to Plus 12 during the day.
  • Freezing level 1300m overnight and early morning rising above the summits by mid morning before the rain arrives

Visibility

Starting off very good, away from any glen mist, falling moderate in rain, also some cloud on hills causing very poor visibility at height.

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

80% in early hours and at first in the northeast, falling to 30% in the rainband though higher in the north.

Maximum wind speed expected

Strengthening southerly winds, with gale force summit winds from mid morning morning around 45mph gusts 55-60mph, easing a little in the evening.

Saturday 23 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:08
Sunset: 19:19
Moon phase: New

A dry start then becoming cloudy, perhaps with a little light rain from mid morning to mid afternoon mainly in the west. Also cloud lowering onto hills. An improvement from mid afternoon with any rain clearing and increasing cloud breaks. A much windier day on the mountains with storm force southerlies expected on the Nevis Range and Cuillin from late morning and severe gales on other Munros. Freezing levels will be well above the tops.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:10
Sunset: 19:17
Moon phase: New

Cloud thickening again overnight to bring some light rain, and cloud back down on the hills but an improvement expected by the morning with some sunshine breaking through and just the odd shower in the west. Overnight severe gales subsiding by morning with a fresh to strong southerly expected on the summits during the day. Some uncertainties about the timing of the clearance of this cloud and rain. Freezing levels well above the tops.

Monday 25 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:12
Sunset: 19:14
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Confidence is low but the most likely scenario is for a dry day with some bright or sunny spells and a fresh to strong southerly breeze on the tops. The alternative scenario is for the rainband to return from the southeast, so regular checking of the forecast is advised.

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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