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Southwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Southwest Highlands over the next 5 days

Confidence

High for dry through Wednesday and for a change to increasingly unsettled conditions but medium for the timings of rain.

  • This evening
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Further outlook

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Sunset: 19:09
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Dry with clear spells through the evening. Southeasterly gales, gusts 60mph over higher ridges and summits.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Weather hazards

Storm force winds High likelihood Hide detail

Walking will be very strenuous with any mobility virtually impossible over exposed ground. There is a high likelihood of being blown over or taken off one’s feet, while even standing up may be impossible at times. Basic tasks such as using a map, eating, putting on extra clothing or communication become extremely difficult away from any shelter.

Learn more about storm force winds

Gales High 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

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

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

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

Mainly dry and bright but very windy.

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 Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Cloudy Light rain Heavy rain
Chance of precipitation at 800m 00% 10% 10% 00% 00% 00% 30% 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
1100m SE 39 49 SE 38 49 SE 41 52 SE 45 58 SE 48 62 SE 48 62 SE 50 64 SE 51 66
900m SE 33 43 SE 33 43 SE 34 45 SE 38 50 SE 40 53 SE 41 55 SE 41 55 SE 41 56
600m SE 28 35 SE 24 31 SE 28 35 SE 31 40 SE 34 46 SE 33 45 SE 34 46 SE 36 49
300m SE 12 22 SE 11 20 SE 15 25 SE 18 30 SE 19 34 SE 18 32 SE 19 34 SE 20 36
Glen SE 6 16 SE 7 16 SE 7 17 SE 8 21 SE 10 26 SE 9 24 SE 8 22 SE 11 28

Temperature

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1100m 5 ° 5 ° 4 ° 4 ° 5 ° 5 ° 5 ° 5 °
900m 8 ° 7 ° 7 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 °
600m 11 ° 10 ° 10 ° 10 ° 11 ° 11 ° 11 ° 11 °
300m 13 ° 12 ° 12 ° 13 ° 14 ° 14 ° 13 ° 13 °
Glen 14 ° 14 ° 13 ° 15 ° 16 ° 16 ° 15 ° 15 °

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 -2 ° -2 ° -3 ° -3 ° -3 ° -2 ° -3 ° -2 °
900m 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 2 ° 3 ° 2 ° 2 °
600m 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 7 ° 6 ° 6 °
300m 10 ° 10 ° 9 ° 10 ° 10 ° 11 ° 10 ° 10 °
Glen 13 ° 13 ° 12 ° 14 ° 14 ° 15 ° 14 ° 13 °

Freezing level

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 2,100 m 2,200 m 2,100 m 2,100 m 2,200 m 2,100 m 2,200 m 2,800 m
Sunrise: 07:14
Sunset: 19:06
Moon phase: Waxing crescent

Weather

Dry but rather cloudy through the early hours with some clear spells, especially towards Lochaber. Then a windy but bright day with sunny spells, however cloud, generally above the summits, is expected to increase through the afternoon. Outbreaks of rain reach western Argyll towards dusk spreading to the rest of the area through the evening and becoming heavier and more persistent.

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

Around 30% at first with periods of cloud around 600m but becoming 90% with cloud lifting to around 900m. Chances reduce to 10% or less during the evening with cloud becoming periods or persistent again above 450m.

Visibility

Very good with some good panoramic views of surrounding hills and mountains but falling to just a few kilometres in heavy evening rain.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Very windy with gusts close to 80mph expected over ridges and summits during the afternoon. Despite generally mild temperatures strength of wind, especially at height, will give a significant chill effect.

Thursday 28 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:16
Sunset: 19:03
Moon phase: First quarter

Weather

Cloud and outbreaks of occasionally heavy rain clearing through the early hours to leave a dry day with some good spells of sunshine developing.

Temperature

  • At 800m Around 8 Celsius
  • Glen Plus 8 Celsius rising to plus 16 Celsius by day
  • Freezing level Above the summits.

Visibility

Several kilometres in overnight rain otherwise very good with some decent panoramic views of surrounding hills and mountains.

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

Around 70% at first with periods above about 750m becoming 90% with cloud mainly above the summits by late morning..

Maximum wind speed expected

Southeasterly winds 40-50mph, with gusts around 70mph likely over higher ridges and summits, veering southerly and decreasing 15-20mph by dawn. Winds become more southeasterly again in afternoon and increase 30-40mph with gusts around 60mph over ridges and summits by evening.

Friday 29 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:18
Sunset: 19:01
Moon phase: First quarter

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain clearing by mid-morning then becoming brighter with sunny spells and occasionally heavy, perhaps thundery, showers developing. Gale or severe gale force southeasterly winds at height. Freezing level above summits.

Saturday 30 September 2017

Sunrise: 07:20
Sunset: 18:58
Moon phase: First quarter

A bright day with sunshine and showers, heavy at times through the morning. Strong to gale force southerly winds. Freezing level above summits.

Sunday 1 October 2017

Sunrise: 07:22
Sunset: 18:55
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain. Southerly then southwesterly gales. Freezing level above summits.

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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