Mountain weather

South Grampian and Southeast Highlands

South Grampian and Southeast Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

Low for timing of onset of rain and snow later on Wednesday. High for a brief cold interlude to end the week. High for a return to milder weather with rain over the weekend.

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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 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 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 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 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.

Mountain weather forecast

Cold, very windy and mainly dry for most of the day, rain and snow developing later. Hazardous winter like conditions developing after dark, chiefly across the Cairngorms.

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

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Storm force higher summit winds will make for severe wind chill and slow progress during the daytime. Be prepared for an abrupt change to hazardous winter weather later in the day. Snow will accumulate at higher elevations later, with icy surfaces likely down to mid-mountain level after dark, chiefly across the southern Cairngorms.

Weather

A few light showers across western ranges at first, these falling as snow above 1000 metres. Otherwise mainly dry, some sunshine into the afternoon. A cold front will move southeast from late afternoon onwards, bringing extensive low cloud and rain, this rain progressively turning to snow down to 500 to 700 metres, snow mainly across the Cairngorms. Drier and clearer weather will follow on from the northwest by mid-evening accompanied by a significant fall in temperature.

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

70%

Visibility

Generally very good for most of daylight hours. Becoming poor in low cloud down to 600 metres from late-afternoon onwards, and whiteout conditions will develop for a time across the southern Cairngorms.

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Mountain weather information

Weather

Bitterly cold, strong northwesterly winds will bring frequent showers of sleet, snow and hail through the day across the southern Cairngorms, the Angus and more northern Perthshire hills, with a small risk of a thunderstorm. The snow level will gradually rise as the day progresses, with snow confined to 800 metres and above by late afternoon. The Ochils will see some good spells of dry and sunny weather.

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

70%, best of the cloud free summits will be in the sheltered south of the area.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northwesterly gales or severe gales widely across upland areas, gusting 60 mph at times on the higher tops.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 1 Celsius, rising to 2 Celsius later
  • Glen 0 Celsius rising to 6 Celsius
  • Freezing level 600 metres, rising to 1000 metres later in the day.

Visibility

Excellent outside of showers, but quickly falling poor as snow showers run through. Cloud lowering to 700 metres at times in showers, and combined with snow will lead to some navigational difficulties.

Mountain weather information

Friday 22 October

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Mostly cold and cloudy with occasional wintry showers in the north in the morning, otherwise dry. Strong northwesterly winds easing down. Freezing level around 1200 metres.

Saturday 23 October

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Dry start, but rain spreading from the west in the afternoon and evening, summit severe gales southerly winds. Freezing level above summits.

Sunday 24 October

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Southwesterly winds will bring scattered showers, or some longer spells of rain across the west. Freezing level above summits.

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This weather forecast area covers much of the southern and eastern Cairngorm National Park, the Aberdeenshire hills and Angus hills and includes the Balmoral Estate, Scottish home of the Royal Family since 1852. Lochnagar, with its magnificent northern corrie, is very popular among walkers and climbers and Mount Keen is the most easterly of all Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet).

The Perthshire hills offer a rich variety of heather-clad hills and mighty pine forests. The River Tay flows 120 miles from its source to the North Sea and is the longest and largest river in Scotland. Loch Tay is a freshwater loch and 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 near the north shore of the loch that includes seven Munros.

The Ochil Hills are a long range of steep-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.

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