Mountain weather

Lake District

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Lake District Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for Tuesday and Wednesday. Lower confidence for snow level on Thursday and Friday with some uncertainty in the progress of milder air moving north over the UK.

This evening forecast

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Sunset:

Dry with clear spells and a widespread frost. Light westerly winds.

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Mountain hazards

Mountain weather hazards

Hazards apply at or above 300m, reflecting the more severe conditions which can occur at altitude.

hazard Severe chill effect
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.
hazard Poor visibility
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.

hazard Heavy snow
Heavy snow can lead to rapid changes in underfoot conditions and paths may become treacherous or hidden. It also brings very poor visibility and often makes navigation much more challenging. When deep snow accumulates progress is often time consuming and strenuous, significantly affecting the distance one can travel on foot. Deep drifts can develop if snow is combined with strong winds. A heightened avalanche risk is possible and avalanche reports should be consulted where available.

hazard Blizzards
Blizzards and whiteouts present challenging and serious conditions due to a combination of falling or blowing snow, strong winds and cold temperatures. They can be highly disorientating, often resulting in near-zero visibility with limited or no visual references and no distinction between ground and sky. Cliff edges and cornices may not be apparent, even close up. These conditions require very good navigational skills.

Mountain weather forecast

Dry start but sleet or snow spreading east. Severe wind chill on the tops.

Wind direction and speed (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
Wind gust (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level

Altitude above mean sea level

Altitude above mean sea level

Additional weather information

Meteorologist's view

Conditions deteriorating as sleet or snow arrives with difficult navigation conditions and a severe wind chill at height.

Weather

Dry start with a widespread frost. Thickening cloud with outbreaks of sleet or snow spreading east by late morning, but falling as rain below 200m. Rain, sleet or snow turning heavy for a few hours in the afternoon but will ease during the evening and turn to rain at all levels as milder air arrives from the southwest.

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

70% early morning but becoming less than 10% by afternoon.

Visibility

Very good at most elevations at first with patchy cloud above 600m. Becoming very poor by early afternoon with extensive cloud cover above 200 or 300m. Low cloud and snow will make navigation very difficult on high slopes. White out conditions over snow cover.

Ground conditions

Date: Monday 25 January 2021. Location: Helvellyn summit at 13:30. Full report: We are continuing to provide the Fell Top Reports for people undertaking their daily local exercise during the lockdown. We would like to remind everyone that Government guidance stipulates that people should only exercise locally to where they live. The main feature of today was the amount of snow being redistributed around the fells by the fresh westerly winds. The snow cover is now very variable with westerly aspects being scoured and deep drifts and wind slab developing behind features, in hollows and sheltered spots and on generally easterly aspects. The exit slopes to Striding Edge were a serious proposition today with lots of unstable soft snow and windslab being laid down beneath a steep cornice. Any tracks from the weekend have disappeared beneath the drifting snow. If you do decide to attempt this or similar slopes then careful route choice staying on or close to rocks as much as possible will be key. A simple slip or slide here would potentially take you into steep and rocky terrain below with serious consequences. The drifting snow will also make navigation trickier especially when the cloud is down. Please don't rely on following summer paths or footsteps as they may not be visible. Striding and Swirral Edges are both a mixture of soft snow, rime ice, sheet ice and bare rock. The ridge crest was the easiest option today as many of the easier options on the flanks were banked out with drifted snow. Large cornices are continuing to build above NE through SE aspects and are now a considerable hazard to walkers and climbers. The cornices above the east face of Helvellyn i.e. right next to the summit trig point are 2-3m. Please give them a wide berth and advise others with less experience to do likewise. Areas which have been scoured such as the Helvellyn plateau are a mixture of old icy snow, rime ice and frozen ground. Additionally many of the paths are becoming icier underfoot as the snow is compressed beneath walkers' feet. Full winter clothing (waterproofs, extra warm layers, hat and gloves), mountain boots and equipment are all essential for anyone going out onto the fells. Although the snowpack is currently mainly soft, for those venturing above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are essential. A simple slip on the Helvellyn Edges or other exposed terrain could have very serious consequences without the means to quickly stop your slide. Even on the so called "easy" route up Helvellyn from Swirls, Thirlmere there is a large area of unavoidable, steep, hard icy snow to cross. Goggles were also very useful to combat the copious amounts of spindrift. Please be conservative with your plans and know your limits. Temperature: minus 2.6 C, Maximum wind speed 27.2 mph, Wind chill: minus 12.7 C, Average wind speed: 22.7 mph.

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Mountain weather information

Weather

Dull and cloudy with patchy light rain, falling as snow above 900m but not amounting to much. A little brightness possible over northern and eastern fells in the afternoon. Rain will spread in from the southwest late in the evening, preceded by snow on the tops.

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

10% at first becoming 60% in afternoon.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southeast 10-15mph, increasing to 20mph gusts 30mph in the evening.

Temperature

  • At 800m 0 or Plus 1C.
  • Valley Plus 2C rising to 6 or 7C.
  • Freezing level 1000-1200m.

Visibility

Extensive cloud above 400m at first, lifting to around 700m and perhaps clearing northern and eastern fells in the afternoon. Generally rather hazy below the cloud.

Mountain weather information

Thursday 28 January

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Sunset:

Cold and cloudy with spells of rain, heavy at times. Strong southerly winds on the tops. Freezing level just above the summits.

Friday 29 January

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Sunset:

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain, turning to snow above 300m in the afternoon. Fresh northerly winds. Freezing level above summits falling to 400m.

Saturday 30 January

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Sunset:

Dry and much brighter with sunny spells. Feeling bitterly cold in a brisk northeasterly breeze.

Updated at:

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. From its summit, the view spans from the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland to Snowdonia in Wales. The Lake District also contains the deepest and longest lakes in England; Wastwater and Windermere.

Much smaller than its Scottish counterparts, but no less breathtaking, is the Lake District National Park. While unarguably most famous for the lakes and waters from which it took its name, the National Park certainly has plenty to offer climbers as well. Not only that, special routes have been created (known as Miles Without Stiles) to offer more laid back, moderate walks.

Those looking for a challenge are suitably catered for with the Lakeland Fells, as made famous by rambler and cartographer Alfred Wainwright. These include some of the highest peaks in England: Scafell Pike (978 metres), Scafell (965 metres), Helvellyn (951 metres) and Skiddaw (931 metres).