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Southwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Southwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

High becoming low on Monday due to uncertainties regarding how far north and how quickly a frontal system bringing rain, snow and milder air pushes northwestwards across Scotland.

  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Further outlook

Saturday 18 November 2017

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

Gales Medium 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

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

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

Bright with sunny spells and isolated snow showers. Cold and windy

Weather

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Light snow Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Clear night Clear night
Chance of precipitation at 800m 70% 30% 10% 10% 10% 10%

Wind speed and direction

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1100m NW 37 43 NW 38 43 NW 35 41 NW 33 40 NW 30 35 NW 26 31
900m NW 23 28 NW 22 29 NW 22 28 NW 21 28 NW 19 27 NW 17 23
600m W 20 24 W 25 29 W 22 27 W 20 25 W 21 25 SW 15 19
300m W 11 14 NW 11 14 W 8 12 NW 9 14 W 7 10 SW 6 8
Glen SW 4 10 NW 5 12 NW 7 18 NW 6 17 W 4 12 W 5 12

Temperature

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

Feels like temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1100m -16 ° -16 ° -16 ° -16 ° -15 ° -14 °
900m -10 ° -11 ° -10 ° -10 ° -10 ° -9 °
600m -6 ° -7 ° -6 ° -6 ° -6 ° -5 °
300m -1 ° -3 ° 0 ° 0 ° -1 ° -1 °
Glen 4 ° 1 ° 3 ° 3 ° 2 ° 1 °

Freezing level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 500 m 400 m 400 m 400 m 400 m 400 m
Sunrise: 08:03
Sunset: 16:05
Moon phase: New

Weather

Scattered snow showers largely die out soon after dawn with just isolated ones continuing, mainly over western Argyll and Arran with some good spells of sunshine developing. Difficult walking conditions are still possible with lying snow occasionally blowing and drifting in the strong winds.

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

Around 40% at dawn with occasional cloud above 600-800m rising to about 80% soon after dawn with just patches of cloud at times above 800m.

Visibility

Poor or very poor in early snow showers and any blowing or drifting snow, otherwise mainly excellent with some good views of recently snow covered hills developing.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Gusts over some exposed ridges and summits close to 60mph at first in the morning. Severe wind-chill effect. Air temperatures will fall to around Minus 2 Celsius in some glens by midnight.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:05
Sunset: 16:03
Moon phase: New

Weather

Mainly dry with some good spells of sunshine, however cloud increasing above the summits through the afternoon with outbreaks of snow spreading northeast through the evening.

Temperature

  • At 800m Around minus 3 Celsius
  • Glen Around minus 5 Celsius at dawn rising to plus 7 Celsius by day
  • Freezing level Around 600m

Visibility

Very good or excellent falling poor in snow showers and snow later and very poor in any drifting or blowing snow at first.

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

Around 80% with occasional cloud above 750m, falling during the evening as cloud bases lower.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northwesterly around 25mph gradually backing southerly and decreasing 15mph or less.

Monday 20 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:07
Sunset: 16:02
Moon phase: New

Rather cloudy with outbreaks of snow, these turning increasingly to rain below about 900m but becoming drier through the afternoon. Strengthening easterly winds. Freezing level around 600m rising to 1000m for a time

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:09
Sunset: 16:00
Moon phase: New

Mostly cloudy with snow spreading northeast, the snow turning increasingly to rain at lower levels later. Occasionally strong easterly winds. Freezing level around 600m rising 1000m.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Sunrise: 08:11
Sunset: 15:59
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Heavy rain and summit snow expected to clear to sunshine and showers. Winds becoming strong to gale force westerly or southwesterly with freezing levels rising to 1200m.

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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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