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Snowdonia - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Snowdonia over the next 5 days

Confidence

High confidence for cold conditions but the main uncertainty over the next few days will be the timing and intensity of various bands of rain, sleet or snow moving erratically east over the UK.

  • This evening
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Further outlook

Thursday 17 January 2019

Sunset: 16:33
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Cold and clear with a widespread frost. Light northerly winds turning southwesterly.

Friday 18 January 2019

Weather hazards

Severe chill effect High 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 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

Gales Medium 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

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

Headline

Cold and cloudy with outbreaks of sleet or snow. Strong southerly winds.

Weather

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Partly cloudy night Cloudy Cloudy Light snow Light snow Light snow Light snow Fog
Chance of precipitation at 800m <05% <05% 20% 60% 80% 80% 70% 50%

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 SE 12 15 SE 22 26 SE 30 37 SE 28 36 SE 31 40 SE 28 35 SE 23 29 SE 23 29
600m SE 10 14 SE 16 22 SE 22 30 SE 22 30 SE 23 32 SE 21 28 SE 18 24 SE 17 23
300m SE 6 13 SE 8 17 SE 11 25 SE 12 28 SE 13 28 SE 11 24 SE 9 21 SE 8 19
Valley SE 6 14 SE 9 18 SE 12 26 SE 13 29 SE 14 29 SE 12 26 SE 10 23 SE 9 20

Temperature

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

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 200 m 200 m 300 m 300 m 500 m 700 m 900 m 900 m
Sunrise: 08:20
Sunset: 16:34
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Weather

Dry with clear spells in the early hours but becoming cloudy by dawn. A cloudy day with outbreaks of sleet or snow soon arriving from the west in the morning, turning mostly to rain down in the valleys in the morning then below 500m in the afternoon. Snow mostly light in nature but the odd heavy burst is possible.

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

95% overnight but becoming 10% in the morning as cloud lowers and becomes extensive with bases 400 to 600m.

Visibility

Good at first but deteriorating rapidly in the morning as outbreaks of sleet or snow arrives, down to a few km or less with extensive low cloud.

Meteorologist's view

Gusts of 50mph over the summits and exposed ridges in the morning. Severe wind chill at most levels.

Ground conditions

No recent ground conditions report available.

Saturday 19 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:19
Sunset: 16:36
Moon phase: Full

Weather

Patchy sleet or snow above 600m with rain at lower levels, this mainly light but the odd heavy shower is possible during the afternoon and evening. Staying cold and largely cloudy but some bright spells may break through across the far northern aspects of Snowdonia.

Maximum wind speed expected

East or Southeast 15-20mph decreasing 10mph.

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

10% chance. Extensive and persistent cloud with base 500 or 600m, occasionally lifting on northern aspects.

Temperature

  • At 800m 0 Celsius.
  • Valley Plus 4 or 5 Celsius.
  • Freezing level 800 or 900m.

Visibility

Often poor on high slopes with low cloud and snow at times. Generally misty or hazy at lower levels.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:18
Sunset: 16:38
Moon phase: Full

Cold, cloudy but mainly dry at first then a band of sleet or snow, with rain below about 300m, will move slowly east during the day. Heavy at first but becoming light and patchy. Mostly dry with clear spells by evening. Mainly light winds but strong northwesterly on the tops later.

Monday 21 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:16
Sunset: 16:40
Moon phase: Full

Mainly dry and cold with light winds. Outbreaks of sleet or snow arriving late in the day, possibly heavy.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Sunrise: 08:15
Sunset: 16:41
Moon phase: Waning gibbous

A lot of uncertainty by this stage but remaining cold. Rain, sleet or snow will never be far away. Winds mainly light.

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The Snowdonia mountains are made up of 90 mountain peaks including the tallest mountain in Wales, Snowdon, standing at 1,085 metres.

The region can be divided into four areas with the northernmost area the most popular, including peaks such as Moel Hebog, Mynydd Mawr and the Nantlle Ridge. Many hikers tend to concentrate on Snowdon itself regarding it as a fine mountain. However it can become quite crowded, with the peak welcoming around half a million visitors every year, of which four fifths scale the peak on foot, while the remainder choose to take the train instead.

One of Snowdon’s main attractions is the sheer number and variety of paths that reach the peak. This means that everyone from mountaineering novices to climbing experts should find a way up the mountain that will suit their abilities or provide them with a sufficient test. The easiest is the Llanberis path which, being the longest, has the most shallow ascent. In contrast, the Watkin Path is widely seen as being the most demanding ascent, despite also being considered the prettiest.

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