Mountain weather

Lake District

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Lake District Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for cold conditions with snow at times. Medium for shower details. Low from Friday.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
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 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.
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 Gales
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.
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 Thunderstorms
Lightning is a significant mountain hazard which can result in serious injury or death. Mountain terrain often leaves one highly exposed to lightning strikes. Hail may give unpleasant conditions with torrential rain and localised flash flooding also possible, mainly in Summer months.

Mountain weather forecast

Windy with snow showers.

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

Weather

Mostly cloudy with bright spells and wintry showers, snow mainly above 300m. The showers possibly merging at times with temporary blizzard conditions over the summits.

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

60%, occasional or extensive cloud with bases around 900m, but lowering significantly in wintry showers.

Ground conditions

Date: Monday 24 February Location Helvellyn summit at 1300. Full report Heavy overnight snow down to the valley floor soon changed to a dramatic thaw and rain at all levels as the freezing level raced above the summits. The BMC temperature gauge situated at 830m on the east face of Helvellyn recorded a change of -3 to +4 in 7 hrs! The snow pack is saturated and thawing at all levels with the snow level rising throughout the day, to approximately 400m by 2pm. Drifts of wet snow were up to thigh deep but generally calf to knee deep giving tough going. The new snow was redistributed by the strong SW winds overnight and has been deposited as soft windslab on N through E to S aspects above 750m especially on Swirral Edge. This was beginning to consolidate in the thaw but still created a significant hazard with plenty of blocking and small slides underfoot. Cornices above easterly aspects grew dramatically overnight and those on Helvellyn measure up to 4-5m in places. They are now in a very dangerous state as they become saturated, heavy and very prone to collapse. Please give them a wide berth and advise others with less experience to do likewise. The freezing level is forecast to drop to 400m which will refreeze any snow and slush giving potentially very serious conditions tomorrow. Winter boots, crampons and an ice axe will be absolutely essential for anyone venturing above the snow line on even the easiest paths where ice and neve will readily form. Striding & Swirral Edges will hopefully be in 'proper' grade 1 winter mountaineering condition. Climbers - The snowpack and turf are currently unfrozen at all levels. There is potential for good conditions to rapidly develop when the freezing level drops but the unfrozen turf is now insulated beneath the new snow. Please only attempt routes if you are certain that they are in condition and that you will not damage the rare alpine plants either on the climb or on the approach to it. Please refer to the BMC "White Climbing Guide" for details. Temperature plus 3.4 degC. Maximum wind speed 44.2 mph. Wind chill minus 5.1 degC. Average wind speed 35.7 mph

Visibility

Very good or excellent falling poor or very poor in wintry showers.

Meteorologist's view

Surfaces will readily freeze with ice an additional hazard.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Bright, sunny or clear sells and occasional wintry showers, snow mainly above 300m.

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

80%, occasional or extensive cloud with bases around 1000m, but lowering significantly in wintry showers.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northwest 20 to 30mph gusts 40mph with a severe wind chill.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 1 to Minus 3 Celsius
  • Valley Minus 1 to plus 4 Celsius
  • Freezing level Around 400m, but most levels early and later in the day

Visibility

Very good or excellent falling poor or very poor in wintry showers.

Mountain weather information

Thursday 27 February

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Bright, sunny or clear spells and occasional wintry showers, snow mainly above 300m. Fresh or strong west or northwest winds over the tops with a severe wind chill. Freezing level around 400m, but most levels early and later in the day.

Friday 28 February

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Sunset:

Mainly dry at first with bright or clear spells. Becoming cloudy with outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow. The snow becoming confined to the summits. Fresh or strong southerly winds at height. Freezing level well down at first, but rising towards the summits.

Saturday 29 February

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Rain and snow clearing to wintry showers by morning. Snow mainly above 300m with temporary blizzard conditions at times. Westerly winds becoming strong to gale force over the tops with a severe wind chill. Freezing level lowering to around 400m.

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).

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