Mountain weather

Northwest Highlands

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Northwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

Generally high for Monday and Tuesday, but moderate for wind strength on Monday morning and shower distribution on Tuesday. Confidence falls low by Friday with large uncertainty over location of rain.

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 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.

Mountain weather forecast

A few showers with sunny spells developing. Feeling chilly 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

Weather

Rather cloudy with outbreaks of light rain soon dying out. Turning brighter through the morning with a few showers, wintry above 800-900m. Largely dry in the afternoon with sunny spells developing. Patchy cloud and the odd shower after dusk across northern ranges.

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

10-20% at first with extensive cloud above 400-500m, improving to 80% by mid morning as cloud lifts and breaks, mainly above 900-1000m.

Visibility

Generally very good or excellent outside of any low cloud falling to several kilometres in rain or showers, and perhaps a kilometre in summit snow.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Some uncertainty in wind strength during the morning with a chance of winds being slower to ease across southern ranges by a couple of hours. Variable freezing level, 1000-1100m in the south, 800-1000m in the north.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Clear spells and a few wintry showers through the early hours. A band of showery rain, snow above 600-700m, sinks south through the morning, but ranges south of Torridon likely to remain largely dry with sunny spells. Scattered showers in the afternoon and evening with some sunny spells.

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

90% around dawn, some patchy cloud on the higher summits. Falling to 30% across Assynt and the far north through the morning as cloud thickens and lowers to 500-600m, lifting and breaking in the afternoon. Ranges further south staying largely cloud free.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northwest 10-15 mph, occasionally 20 mph across northern ranges. Backing westerly through the day.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 3 Celsius rising to 6 Celsius.
  • Glen Plus 1 Celsius rising to 10 Celsius.
  • Freezing level 800m, rising to 1000-1200m in the afternoon.

Visibility

Very good outside of any low cloud across northern ranges.

Mountain weather information

Wednesday 29 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Dry and bright for most, but occasional scattered showers, some sleet or wet snow on the higher summits. Mainly light to moderate winds Freezing level 1000m, rising above the summits in the south.

Thursday 30 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

A chilly clear night then a mainly dry day with broken cloud building, a few light showers in the north. Mainly light winds. Freezing level 900-1000m.

Friday 31 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Most likely a dry bright start, but increasingly cloud. A chance of rain, perhaps some sleet or snow on higher summits. Freezing level 800-900m, but likely to rise above the summits. Increasingly breezy.

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