Mountain weather

Northwest Highlands

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Northwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for changeable conditions, and for some wet weather edging in on Wednesday and also towards the end of the week, but low regarding timings and amounts of rain Friday into Saturday and the snow level.

This evening forecast

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Cloudy with a little patchy rain and some dry spells. A gale force southwesterly breeze on the tops, severe in the far north.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
Mountain hazards

Mountain weather hazards

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

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 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 Storm force winds
Storm force winds (gusts over 70mph) make walking very strenuous with any mobility virtually impossible over exposed ground. Where these conditions occur there is a high risk of being blown over and even standing may be impossible at times with a risk of being blown off one’s feet. Basic tasks such as using a map, eating, putting on extra clothing or communication become extremely difficult away from any shelter.
hazard Heavy persistent rain
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.

Mountain weather forecast

Cloudy with occasional rain, heavy at first in far northwest with gale to severe gale force 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

Cloudy. Rain light and patchy at midnight but some heavier more persistent rain will reach the northwest from Ben Hope down to Skye and Wester Ross in the early hours. This will gradually become light and patchy again during the morning, while it will stay mainly dry towards Ben Wyvis and Knoydart. A few sunny intervals may break through in good shelter in the afternoon. More persistent rain will reach the far northwest again from mid evening.

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

10% with extensive cloud at 450-750m, rising 30% in the east in the afternoon with some breaks.

Visibility

Mostly good away from where cloud sits on the hills, but moderate to poor in heavier rain at first in the far northwest.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Summit gusts may be into the 60-70 mph range in the north with a high wind chill.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Further rain in Skye and Wester Ross down to Glen Affric, persistent and heavy at times. This edging only slowly eastwards across the rest of the area during the afternoon, but little reaching the sheltered east around Ben Wyvis. The rain accompanied by hill fog. The rain will clear from the west from mid evening with clear spells abnd the odd shower.

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

30% with extensive cloud at 600-900m and areas to 400m near the west coast.

Maximum wind speed expected

South to southwest 45 gusts 65mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 4 Celsius rising to Plus 6 Celsius in the afternoon, plus 4 again by midnight.
  • Glen Plus 9 Celsius at dawn rising to Plus 11 in the afternoon, then dropping to 6 by midnight.
  • Freezing level Above the summits

Visibility

Moderate to poor in rain but mainly good away from cloud in the east.

Mountain weather information

Thursday 24 October

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Often cloudy with a few bright or sunny intervals. Some heavy showers with the chance of thunder. Showers easing in the evening but likely to turn to snow above 800m. Strong southwesterly winds.

Friday 25 October

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Sunny intervals and a few showers, wintry on the Munros, in the morning and early. Then cloud thickening in the afternoon to bring outbreaks of rain later this perhaps heavy and persistent, preceded by snow above 900m, with extensive hill fog and southwesterly gales.

Saturday 26 October

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Low confidence. Likely to remain cloudy with further spells of heavy rain, with summit snow possible, though it may clear from the northwest at some point during the day.

Updated at:

Summit specific forecast

Mountain summit forecast map

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