Mountain weather

Northwest Highlands

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Northwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for a mix of sunshine and showers through the coming week.

This evening forecast

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Heavy afternoon showers soon dying out leaving some late sunny then clear spells. Strong southwesterly winds.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
Mountain hazards

Mountain weather hazards

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

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 Strong sunlight
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.

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 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 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

Sunny spells with occasionally heavy showers developing. Strong southwesterly winds.

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

Mainly dry at first but cloud increasing bringing outbreaks of rain, especially to western parts through the early hours, the rain perhaps heavy at times in the south. The rain turns more showery through the morning with bright or sunny spells developing, with the odd heavy and perhaps thundery shower during the afternoon. Becoming mainly dry again away from western coastal ranges during the evening with some late sunshine.

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

Around 40% at first with occasional or periods above 450m , although close to 100% in the east with only small amounts of cloud below the summits. Chances gradually become around 75% through the morning cloud becomes more occasional above about 600m, with cloud largely lifting above the summits during the afternoon.

Visibility

Very good or excellent with good panoramic views of surrounding mountains and glens, but several kilometres in early rain and in heavier showers.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Significant chill across Munros through much of the day.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Showers continue to affect western coastal ranges overnight while the east remains mainly dry with long clear spells through the early hours. Then another bright day with sunny spells and showers developing more widely, the showers expected to be lighter and more scattered than recent days. Becoming largely dry through the evening.

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

Around 60% over western coastal ranges with occasional or periods of cloud above 600m, but closer to 100% at first in the elsewhere becoming around 75%, for a time from late morning to early afternoon, as occasional cloud above 600m develops, this gradually lifting above the summits through the afternoon.

Maximum wind speed expected

Southwesterly 25mph, gusts around 40mph over ridges and summits, decreasing 15-20mph by early afternoon.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 7 Celsius rising to plus 10 Celsius.
  • Glen Around plus 6 Celsius at dawn rising to plus 16 Celsius by day.
  • Freezing level Above the summits.

Visibility

Very good, falling briefly to several kilometres in showers

Mountain weather information

Thursday 20 June

Sunrise:
Sunset:

A showery day with sunny spells and occasionally heavy and perhaps thundery showers. Occasionally fresh southwesterly winds.

Friday 21 June

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Another day of sunny spells and occasionally heavy, perhaps thundery, showers. Occasionally fresh southwesterly breeze.

Saturday 22 June

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Sunny spells and occasionally heavy showers. Mainly light winds.

Updated at:

Summit specific forecast map

Summit specific forecasts for Northwest Highlands

The Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye are among the steepest mountains in the UK and include 15 peaks above 3,000 feet (900 metres). There are two main ridges; the magnificent Black Cuillins and the Red Cuillins around Loch Coruisk to the south.

Torridon has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland which includes Beinn Eighe, a long ridge with many spurs and summits, two of which are classified as Munros. Beinne Eighe also includes Britain's first ever national nature reserve where you may spot golden eagles, buzzards, pine martins and wild cats on your travels.

For snow and avalanche hazard forecasts please visit Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service