Mountain weather

Northwest Highlands

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Northwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

Medium for rather changeable weather but lower for daily detail.

This evening forecast

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Some late brightness in the far northwest otherwise cloudy with some showery rain some heavy and accompanied by some low cloud and hill fog across Sutherland and Easter Ross. Drier conditions will follow from the south with the cloud breaking up.

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 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.
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 mixed day with the chance of a few heavy 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

Rain clearing soon after midnight then mainly dry overnight with some patchy cloud and hill fog, and clear spells, with early sunshine after dawn. Turning cloudier in the morning with showers returning from the south, some on the heavy side in the afternoon with the chance of isolated thunder, hail, and sleet on the highest tops. Becoming mostly dry in the evening.

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

50% with occasional cloud on the Munros mainly near showers.

Visibility

Moderate improving very good away from showers by afternoon, but locally poor in the heavier showers.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Some summit gusts of 45mph are likely, with a significant wind chill.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

. A mainly cloudy day but slowly brightening with bases lifting, then a few sharp showers breaking out here and there with sleet or wet snow on the highest tops. Turning clearer later in the evening.

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

20% overnight and into the morning rising to 70% in the afternoon as bases rise to above 1000m.

Maximum wind speed expected

Variable overnight then a moderate northwesterly by day only 15 gusts 25mph though picking up a bit more after dark.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 4 Celsius.
  • Glen Plus 7 at daybreak edging up to Plus 14 in the afternoon.
  • Freezing level 1400m.

Visibility

Mainly good away from cloud and showers falling moderate, briefly poor locally, in showers.

Mountain weather information

Sunday 28 April

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Some sunny spells in morning then cloudy with a little patchy rain arriving in the afternoon. Southerly winds strengthening later.

Monday 29 April

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Cloudy with a little light rain at first then brightening up. Mostly light southerly winds but fresh on the tops.

Tuesday 30 April

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mostly dry and bright though a few showers may break out in the afternoon. Warm at lower levels. Fresh southerly winds on the tops.

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