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Southwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Southwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

High until midweek then low regarding fronts pushing in from the Atlantic later in the week, and for freezing levels on Thursday

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Further outlook

Monday 10 December 2018

Weather hazards

Severe chill effect Low 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 Low 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

Headline

Daylight hours dry with some sunshine this turning hazy as high cloud thickens later in the morning. Cloud lowering towards evening with patchy drizzle after dark. Cold but winds becoming mainly light.

Weather

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Clear night Sunny day Sunny day Cloudy Cloudy Overcast
Chance of precipitation at 800m 20% 10% <05% <05% 10% 10%

Wind speed and direction

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m NE 22 25 E 17 19 S 10 12 S 9 11 SE 12 15 SE 15 19
900m N 10 13 NW 6 8 SW 5 7 S 6 8 S 10 14 SE 13 17
600m E 8 9 W 6 7 SW 4 6 NE 4 6 E 7 9 NE 8 10
300m E 5 6 SE 3 4 NE 2 3 NE 3 4 E 4 6 SE 6 10
Glen W 1 4 NW 2 2 E 1 2 E 3 7 E 2 6 E 3 6

Temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m -4 ° -4 ° -3 ° -3 ° -2 ° -2 °
900m -2 ° -2 ° -1 ° -1 ° -1 ° -1 °
600m 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 2 ° 3 °
300m 2 ° 2 ° 3 ° 3 ° 3 ° 4 °
Glen 0 ° 1 ° 2 ° 3 ° 3 ° 4 °

Feels like temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m -13 ° -11 ° -9 ° -8 ° -8 ° -8 °
900m -7 ° -5 ° -4 ° -5 ° -6 ° -6 °
600m -3 ° -2 ° -1 ° -1 ° -2 ° -1 °
300m 0 ° 1 ° 1 ° 1 ° 2 ° 1 °
Glen -2 ° -1 ° 1 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 °

Freezing level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 600 m 500 m 500 m 600 m 700 m 1,000 m
Sunrise: 08:41
Sunset: 15:42
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Weather

Daylight hours dry with some sunny spells in the morning, these turning hazy towards midday as high cloud arrives. Cloud thickening and lowering in the afternoon, with some patchy light drizzle affecting west coast hills in the evening

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

80% or more during the day, with most cloud well above the tops. Chances decreasing 30% in the evening as extensive cloud at 450-600m spreads in from the west.

Visibility

Good clarity to the airmass during daylight with distant hills easily seen, though some haziness at lower levels in the south. Falling poor in drizzle and mist near west coast in evening.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Very low feels like temperatures on the summits at first before winds ease.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:42
Sunset: 15:42
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Weather

Generally cloudy overnight with extensive hill fog and the odd patch of light rain or drizzle, and staying cloudy in the south during the day. However over Lochaber the cloud breaking up markedly allowing some good clear or sunny spells. The exact boundary of this will depend on the depth of the cloud.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southerly 30 gusts 40mph increasing 40 gusts 55mph in the evening.

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

20% overnight, rising to 70% in Lochaber during the morning as the cloud breaks up, but remaining 20% or less elsewhere.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 2 Celsius rising to Plus 4 Celsius in the south and Plus 7 in some sunnier northern slopes.
  • Glen Plus 2 overnight, perhaps dipping to Minus 2 under clearing skies in the north around dawn. Then rising to around 4 Celsius during the day, later Plus 7 along the west coast.
  • Freezing level 1100m at midnight rising above summits in the early hours.

Visibility

Occasionally poor in overnight drizzle and rather hazy and misty in the south during the day but becoming very good in the sunnier north with distant hills further in that direction becoming easily seen.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:44
Sunset: 15:42
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Cloudier generally. Occasional rain or drizzle perhaps turning to snow above 900m by midnight. Strengthening winds with severe gale force south to southeasterlies on the tops by evening.

Thursday 13 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:45
Sunset: 15:42
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Low confidence. Winds continuing to increase, to storm force. Cloudy, with patchy rain and mountain snow, turning heavier later with blizzard conditions developing. Some uncertainty on how low the snow level will get, and even the arrival time of the snow.

Friday 14 December 2018

Sunrise: 08:46
Sunset: 15:41
Moon phase: First quarter

Very low confidence in detail. Most likely to be cloudy with strong to gale southerly winds, and some occasional, mainly light rain and hill snow.

Issued at:
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Includes Ben Nevis, Glen Coe and the rest of Lochaber, Argyll including the Isles, Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Arran

The South West Highlands is an extensive area of mountains, moorland, islands and sea which is home to several distinctly different cultures. The West Highland Way was Scotland's first long distance route and remains by far the most popular. It stretches for 94 miles from Milngavie on the edge of Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis.

The South West Highlands area is very sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges including the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis, standing at 1,344 metres. This mountain is a popular destination attracting an estimated 100,000 ascents a year. The 700 metre cliffs of the north face are among the highest in the UK, providing classic scrambles and rock climbs of all difficulties for climbers and mountaineers.

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

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