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Southwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Southwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

High in the general weather sequence, and for very windy conditions early next week. Lower for rain details from Monday.

  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • Further outlook

Saturday 20 October 2018

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

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

Severe chill effect Low 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

Headline

Mainly cloudy with extensive hill fog and some drizzly rain most persistent over Lochaber and Argyll. Windy.

Weather

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Fog Light rain Light rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Light rain
Chance of precipitation at 800m 50% 70% 70% 70% 70% 70%

Wind speed and direction

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m S 40 48 SW 39 48 SW 39 49 SW 39 49 SW 37 47 SW 36 47
900m SW 28 35 SW 31 39 SW 29 38 SW 30 41 SW 28 38 SW 29 39
600m SW 34 40 SW 36 44 SW 30 38 SW 29 38 SW 25 34 SW 27 36
300m SW 16 23 SW 18 27 SW 14 25 SW 14 24 SW 12 20 SW 14 24
Glen SW 10 22 SW 13 27 SW 12 27 SW 11 26 SW 9 21 SW 10 24

Temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m 6 ° 6 ° 7 ° 7 ° 8 ° 8 °
900m 7 ° 8 ° 8 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 °
600m 9 ° 10 ° 10 ° 11 ° 11 ° 11 °
300m 10 ° 11 ° 11 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 °
Glen 11 ° 12 ° 13 ° 13 ° 13 ° 13 °

Feels like temperature

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m 0 ° 0 ° 0 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 °
900m 2 ° 2 ° 3 ° 4 ° 5 ° 5 °
600m 4 ° 5 ° 6 ° 6 ° 7 ° 7 °
300m 7 ° 8 ° 9 ° 9 ° 10 ° 10 °
Glen 9 ° 10 ° 11 ° 11 ° 12 ° 12 °

Freezing level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 2,400 m 3,400 m 3,000 m 2,800 m 2,900 m 2,700 m
Sunrise: 08:01
Sunset: 18:06
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Weather

Clear spells at first in the early hours soon being replaced by low cloud and hill fog already affecting Arran and soon spreading northeast. All areas will have a dull overcast day with extensive hill fog, and some outbreaks of rain or drizzle, this light to moderate in intensity and most persistent across Argyll and Lochaber.

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

80% in the early hours but chances dropping dramatically well before morning, to less than 10% as widespread cloud at 300-600m arrives.

Visibility

Good in early hours but falling moderate to poor in drizzle and mist.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Gusts over the higher tops such as Ben Nevis could reach 60mph.

Sunday 21 October 2018

Sunrise: 08:03
Sunset: 18:04
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Weather

Cloudy overnight with some rain or drizzle at times. The rain will turn a bit heavier in the morning, before it eases off and much brighter weather spreads in from the west. The afternoon will be mainly dry with some sunshine though the odd shower will follow, these are more likely in the evening however, when they will turn to sleet and snow on the Munro tops, and perhaps down to 800m by midnight.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southwesterly 45 gusts 60 mph at midnight veering westerly and decreasing 30 gusts 45mph for a time, then strengthening to 45 gusts 60mph again in the evening.

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

Less than 10% overnight and into the morning with plenty of cloud down to the 300-600m range. Then chances improving to 70% in the afternoon, with occasional cloud to 600m mainly near showers.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 11 Celsius falling to Plus 3 Celsius later in the day.
  • Glen 11 Celsius overnight rising to 13 Celsius in the afternoon, dropping to 7 Celsius in the evening.
  • Freezing level Well above summits overnight and into the morning falling to 1200m from mid afternoon and 900m in the evening.

Visibility

Often moderate to poor overnight and morning then mainly good away from showers.

Monday 22 October 2018

Sunrise: 08:05
Sunset: 18:01
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Clear spells and scattered showers overnight, of snow at first on the Munro tops with a dusting possible on Ben Nevis. Cloudier by morning with some hill fog and some light rain or drizzle at times, though with some brighter interludes in the Trossach's glens. Severe west to northwesterly gales on the tops. Freezing level rising well above the summits.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Sunrise: 08:07
Sunset: 17:59
Moon phase: Full

Cloudy with some hill fog and occasional outbreaks of rain, this quite heavy at times in Lochaber and North Argyll. Hill fog will be more widespread than on Monday. Severe west to northwesterly gales on the tops while freezing levels remain well above the summits.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Sunrise: 08:09
Sunset: 17:56
Moon phase: Full

Cloudy again with a little light rain or drizzle in places, but the severe gales will gradually ease.

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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