Mountain weather

Northwest Highlands

Northwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for showery initially then largely dry from later 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 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 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.
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 showery and increasingly breezy day. Feeling cold at height.

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather
(at 800m)
Light shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Sleet shower (day) Hail shower (day) Hail shower (day) Hail shower (day)
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
40% 40% 40% 60% 70% 60%

Wind direction and speed (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m SW
38
SW
35
W
35
W
42
W
39
W
41
900m SW
35
SW
34
W
34
W
40
W
38
W
39
600m SW
25
SW
25
W
25
W
30
W
27
W
26
300m SW
7
SW
10
W
10
W
11
W
10
W
9
Glen SW
13
SW
18
W
18
W
22
W
18
W
17
Wind gust (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m 44 45 45 54 50 51
900m 42 43 44 52 48 50
600m 31 34 35 41 38 37
300m 32 34 35 40 38 37
Glen 26 34 33 39 35 33

Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m
900m
600m
300m
Glen
10°
10°
10°
Freezing Level
1,100m
1,100m
1,000m
1,000m
1,000m
1,100m

Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m
-8°
-7°
-8°
-8°
-8°
-8°
900m
-6°
-6°
-6°
-7°
-7°
-7°
600m
-2°
-1°
-2°
-2°
-2°
-3°
300m
Glen

Additional weather information

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Cold in the strong summit winds, particularly later in the day when gales develop, bringing a severe chill effect. This combining with frequent showers, wintry at height, will bring some difficult conditions.

Weather

A showery day with limited bright and sunny spells appearing. Outbreaks quite frequent, heavy at times bringing the risk of hail and thunder for the afternoon, chiefly across northern ranges, also wintry across highest peaks.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

80-90% for any given time, but little chance for prolonged periods due to the showery nature of the flow.

Low cloud and visibility

Good or very good, becoming moderate or poor in showers, very poor in wintry outbreaks across higher summits, also within cloud as bases sporadically lower 450-600m as showers push through.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Another day of sunshine and showers, but improved from Thursday with showers less frequent and lighter, particularly from mid-day, also winds *light. Snow level around 900m lifting above summits for a time.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

80-90% at first for any given time, but little chance for prolonged periods due to the showery nature of the flow. Gradually improving through the day as showers dwindle.

Maximum wind speed expected

West initially mean 30-35mph with gusts reaching 45mph over most exposed ridges and summits, gradually easing through the day.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 2 Celsius increasing 4 Celsius for a time
  • Glen Plus 4 Celsius increasing 14 Celsius for the afternoon
  • Freezing level 1200m increasing 1500m for a time

Low cloud and visibility

Good or very good, becoming moderate or poor in showers, very poor in wintry outbreaks across higher summits, also within cloud as bases sporadically lower 450-600m as showers push through.

Mountain weather information

Sat 28 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Most if not all staying dry with occasional sunshine. Relatively light winds with a freezing level above the summits.

Sun 29 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Again another largely dry and sunny day, with good sunny spells, but northerly breezes developing, bringing some risk of a few light showers later, chiefly across northern ranges.

Mon 30 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

A scattering of light showers and brighter spells, with outbreaks wintry across highest summits.

Updated at:

Summit specific forecast

Mountain summit forecast map

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The area of Assynt includes some of the most remote and distinguished peaks in Scotland including Suilven, Quinag and Stac Pollaidh which stand tall and castle-like above areas of moorland and lochans. Glen Shiel and Glen Affric are characterised by dramatic steep mountain sides, lofty ridges and a high concentration of Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet), making it a highly popular area for ‘Munro baggers’.   

The Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye are among the steepest and most technically challenging mountains in the UK. There are twelve Munros including the Inaccessible Pinnacle which is the only Munro which requires rock climbing to reach its summit. There are two main ranges; the magnificent Black Cuillin (or Cuillin Ridge) and the Red Cuillin (also known as the Red Hills) which are more rounded in nature.

Torridon has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland including the classic trio of Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe. The latter also includes Britain's first National Nature Reserve where you may spot golden eagles, crossbills, pine martins and wild cats on your travels.

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