Mountain weather

Southwest Highlands

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Southwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for a showery day on Friday and for a change to windier, wetter conditions on Saturday. The main uncertainty relates to shower distribution from Sunday onwards.

This evening forecast

Sunrise:
Sunset:

A few lingering snow showers will continue to spread south this evening on fresh northerly winds. Bitterly cold at height with winter conditions above mid levels.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
Mountain hazards

Mountain weather hazards

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

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 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

Sunshine and further snow 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

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Ice and fresh snow will make for slippery conditions, especially early and late.

Weather

A dry, frosty and often clear start to the day with some early sunshine across southern ranges. Showers of sleet, hail and snow will develop across all ranges through morning and much of the afternoon. A change in wind direction will leave the West Coast ranges increasingly dry and clear through later afternoon and all ranges likely dry by late evening.

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

70%.

Visibility

Some areas of cloud will linger above 400-600m through morning, mainly across Lochaber while the southern ranges see clearer conditions. Afternoon showers will bring cloud down to 600m or so and snow will reduce visibility to a few hundred metres at times.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

A day of contrasting conditions as a cold, frosty and largely dry morning gives way to strengthening easterly winds, thick cloud and periods of rain and snow. This rain will arrive across Arran soon after dawn, falling as snow above 400m initially, spreading to all ranges by mid morning. The snow level will gradually rise with rain across all but highest levels after dark but rain will be increasingly light by this stage.

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

90% falling to 10%.

Maximum wind speed expected

Easterly 15-20mph increasing 25-35 gusting up to 50mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 1 or 2 C.
  • Glen 2-4C rising to 6-8C.
  • Freezing level 400m rising 1000m.

Visibility

Very little low level cloud through morning but cloud will become persistent above 300-500m in the east, 500-700m in the west.

Mountain weather information

Sunday 9 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Milder conditions with sunny spells and increasingly risk of showers by afternoon, these likely heavy and perhaps thundery. Light winds. Freezing level above summits.

Monday 10 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Another day of sunshine and showers, these on the heavy side at times. Light to moderate easterly winds. Freezing level above summits.

Tuesday 11 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Light winds, sunshine and showers developing from mid to late morning.

Updated at:

The Southwest Highlands weather forecast area is an extensive area of mountains, moorland, islands and sea lochs. The area has a high density of steep and rugged Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet) including the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis (1,344 metres), attracting an estimated 100,000 ascents a year. The 700 metre cliffs of the north face are among the highest in the UK, providing classic scrambles and rock climbs of all difficulties for climbers and mountaineers. Glen Coe is also an iconic area for rock climbing and scrambling and includes the Aonach Eagach, an exposed and narrow ridge which stands 900m above the floor of the glen below.

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National park was the first of the two national parks in Scotland and includes Ben Lomond which is the most southerly Munro. Running past the foot of Ben Lomond is The West Highland Way which is Scotland's first long distance walking route. It stretches for 96 miles from Milngavie on the edge of Glasgow to Fort William.

The Isle of Arran is in the far south of the area, often referred to as Scotland in miniature, it includes Goat Fell with its fine panoramic views and the Glen Rosa horseshoe with sections of rock scrambling.

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