Mountain weather

South Grampian and Southeast Highlands

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South Grampian and Southeast Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for the cold, windy, very showery conditions over the next couple of days with a milder wetter interlude later Wednesday into early Thursday. Lower for extent of respite between the two weather types on Wednesday and the timing of the return of the milder wetter weather on Friday.

This evening forecast

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Severe conditions. Frequent showers, prolonged in the west, mainly of snow above 400m with blizzards and white out conditions above 600m, these levels rising a little towards midnight. Storm force winds at most levels with gusts over 100mph on the highest summits and gales even in many of the glens especially aligned to the west or southwest. Severe windchill.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
Mountain hazards

Mountain weather hazards

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

hazard Blizzards
Blizzards and whiteouts present challenging and serious conditions due to a combination of falling or blowing snow, strong winds and cold temperatures. They can be highly disorientating, often resulting in near-zero visibility with limited or no visual references and no distinction between ground and sky. Cliff edges and cornices may not be apparent, even close up. These conditions require very good navigational skills.
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 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 Heavy snow
Heavy snow can lead to rapid changes in underfoot conditions and paths may become treacherous or hidden. It also brings very poor visibility and often makes navigation much more challenging. When deep snow accumulates progress is often time consuming and strenuous, significantly affecting the distance one can travel on foot. Deep drifts can develop if snow is combined with strong winds. A heightened avalanche risk is possible and avalanche reports should be consulted where available.

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

Frequent snow showers, prolonged in west, with blizzards and whiteout conditions at times. Best of any clear or sunny intervals in sheltered northeast.

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

Frequent showers, falling as snow above 500m and bringing blizzard and whiteout conditions above 700m, these levels starting to fall by a couple of hundred metres in the evening when some access roads may start to be affected again. A small risk of lightning in the showers in the west towards Ben Lawers and perhaps the Ochils.

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

30%, cloud frequently on the higher hills in the west in showers, prolonged over western summits, and best chance of clearances over the lower tops around the Angus and Aberdeenshire Hills.

Visibility

Occasionally good away from showers on lower slopes, especially in the northeast where there will be good clarity to the air, but often poor to nil in heavy snow showers, blowing snow and blizzards.

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Severe conditions on the mountains on Monday. Mean windspeeds in the glens and 200m will be higher than on the table where aligned with the wind.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Frequent snow showers over much of the area though less so in the sheltered east with more in the way of clear or sunny interludes there. Slightly colder air than on Monday so the showers occasionally wintry to low levels and mainly of snow above 300m and with gales or severe gales on the mountains, plenty of lying snow to blow around bringing blizzard and whiteout conditions, as well as the formation of large drifts.

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

30%, cloud frequently on the higher hills in the west in showers, prolonged over western summits, and best chance of clearances over the lower tops around the Aberdeenshire and Angus Hil.

Maximum wind speed expected

West to southwest 50 gusts 70mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 3 Celsius
  • Glen Zero to Plus 3 Celsius, varying as showers move through
  • Freezing level 400m

Visibility

Occasionally good away from showers on lower slopes, especially in the sheltered north where there will be good clarity to the air, but often poor to nil in heavy snow showers, blowing snow and blizzards.

Mountain weather information

Wednesday 19 February

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Further heavy showers in the early hours with northwesterly gales though drier over the Ochils. The showers dying out in the morning with some sunshine for a time, lasting longest in Aberdeenshire. Then cloud thickening from the southwest, bringing some patchy rain, with snow above 600m until evening before freezing levels rise. Hill fog becoming increasingly widespread as moist Atlantic air cools over snow-covered ground. Strengthening southwesterly becoming southerly winds with severe gales on the tops in the evening.

Thursday 20 February

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Further rain or drizzle overnight, turning heavier towards morning, turning to snow on the tops before it clears to occasional showers these turning to snow to low levels in the afternoon. Severe gales with storm force summit winds, eventually leading to renewed blizzard conditions in the heavier showers.

Friday 21 February

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Blustery snow showers giving way to rising freezing levels and rain, all the time accompanied by severe gale westerly winds. The rain probably light in the east of the area but heavier in the west with some snowmelt.

Updated at:

The Ochil Hills are a long range of steeply sided, round topped hills, stretching 25 miles from the Firth of Tay to Stirling. There are many peaks over 600 metres offering splendid views across central Scotland and to the north, with Ben Cleuch the highest at 721 metres.

Loch Tay is a freshwater loch in the central highlands and is around 15 miles long. At around 150 metres deep it is one of the deepest in Scotland. At 1,214 metres Ben Lawers is the highest point along the ridge on the north shore that includes seven Munros (mountains over 3,000 ft).

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

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