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Southwest Highlands - Mountain weather forecast

Weather warnings

Warnings affecting Southwest Highlands over the next 5 days


High for Sunday and Monday. High for remaining unsettled for the rest of the period and turning progressively colder. Low for details, especially on Tuesday.

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Further outlook

Sunday 22 April 2018

Weather hazards

Severe chill effect Medium 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 Medium 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

Heavy and persistent rain can lead to drenched clothing and footwear with waterproofs often becoming soaked through, especially if accompanied by strong winds. This can lead to significant loss of body heat and an increased likelihood of hypothermia. Terrain may turn increasingly boggy underfoot while streams can flood and 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


Rain in the morning, scattered showers in the afternoon, wintry on the summits.


06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather at 800m Light rain Heavy rain Light rain Light shower day Light shower day Heavy rain
Chance of precipitation at 800m 30% 70% 90% 40% 50% 70%

Wind speed and direction

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Altitude above mean sea level
1300m S 29 33 S 26 32 SW 24 31 SW 25 32 SW 31 39 SW 30 38
900m S 17 21 S 20 25 SW 19 25 SW 21 27 SW 24 32 SW 24 32
600m SW 15 19 SW 17 22 SW 20 25 SW 19 25 SW 23 30 SW 23 29
300m SW 7 12 SW 8 11 SW 12 20 SW 10 19 SW 12 20 SW 12 22
Glen SW 6 16 SW 6 13 SW 9 21 SW 8 20 SW 9 20 SW 8 21


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

Feels like temperature

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

Freezing level

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Freezing level i 1,400 m 1,400 m 1,300 m 1,100 m 1,300 m 1,300 m
Sunrise: 05:56
Sunset: 20:41
Moon phase: First quarter


Dry start inland. Rain reaches the Argyll and Lochaber coast around dawn, spreading east through the morning, heavy for a time before clearing east shortly after midday. Scattered showers, falling as snow above 1000m, and some bright spells for the rest of the afternoon. Cloud thickens early evening with showers merging at times.

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

80% before dawn with cloud mostly above the summits. Becoming nil along the west coast with extensive cloud above 200-400m after dawn. 30% further east, where broken cloud above 500-600m. Improving 70% for a time in the afternoon across most ranges as cloud breaks and lifts above the summits before lowering in the evening.


Often poor through the morning, especially near the west coast. Becoming good for a time outside of showers in the afternoon.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Feeling cold, especially on exposed high ground. Rain and sleet will enhance windchill effect.

Monday 23 April 2018

Sunrise: 05:54
Sunset: 20:43
Moon phase: First quarter


Cloudy with showers, falling as snow above 1000m. More persistent rain reaches the west coast mid afternoon, spreading east in the evening before clearing to isolated showers and clear spells overnight.

Maximum wind speed expected

West or southwest 30 gusting 40 mph, increasing to 40 gusting 50-55 mph through the evening.

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

40% at first with cloud frequent above 500m near the west coast, more occasional above 600-700m over eastern ranges. Cloud lifts above the summits for a time around midday. Falling to 10% across all ranges from mid afternoon as cloud becomes extensive above 400-500m.


  • At 800m 2 Celsius
  • Glen 3 Celsius rising to 10 Celsius
  • Freezing level 1200m, rising above the summits late afternoon, then falling to 1000m through the evening.


Often poor in the morning and from mid afternoon. Generally good around midday.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Sunrise: 05:51
Sunset: 20:45
Moon phase: First quarter

Isolated showers become more frequent through the morning, turning heavy at times and falling as snow above 900m. Showers ease in the evening. Strong westerly winds, easing slightly in the evening. Freezing level 1000 rising to 1200m for a time.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Sunrise: 05:49
Sunset: 20:47
Moon phase: First quarter

Isolated showers through the early hours, turning more frequent and widespread though the day, snow above 800-900m. Showers often heavier with a risk of thunder. Fresh southwest winds. Freezing level 1000m rising 1200m, falling 900m late evening.

Thursday 26 April 2018

Sunrise: 05:46
Sunset: 20:49
Moon phase: Waxing gibbous

Further scattered showers, snow above 600-700m. Showers heavy at first with a risk of thunder. Fresh to strong southwest becoming west or northwest winds. Freezing level 800-900m.

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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