Mountain weather

Southwest Highlands

Southwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for a change to much colder and showery conditions for Thursday. Generally high for the forecast but some uncertainty in the timing of rain late Saturday and early Sunday.

This evening forecast

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Outbreaks of rain, turning to snow above 700m, clearing south through the evening. Turning much colder with clear spells and showers following, falling as snow above 500m. Strong or gale force northwesterly winds giving a severe wind chill. Freezing level lowering to 700m.

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 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 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 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 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

Bright spells and sleet or snow showers. Very cold and windy.

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

A change to full winter conditions up in the hills with a severe wind chill.

Weather

A bitterly cold and windy day with occasional snow showers, falling as rain or sleet below about 400m. The most frequent and showers will be over Lochaber and north Argyll. Longest sunny spells will be across southern Argyll and the Trossachs in the morning. Some light snow accumulations above 700 or 800m.

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

30% to 50%.

Visibility

Very poor at times as snow showers move through with patchy low cloud down to 500 or 600m at times. Spells of very good visibility between showers, most prolonged across southern Argyll and Trossachs.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Bright or clear spells and scattered showers, wintry above 600m. The showers and winds will ease through the day but it will still feel cold at height. Best of the sunny spells in the southeast.

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

90%.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northwest 20-30mph gusts 40mph, easing 10-15mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 1 or 2C.
  • Glen Plus 3C rising to 8C, falling to Plus 1 or 2C in the evening.
  • Freezing level 900 or 1000m.

Visibility

Excellent air clarity with distant peaks visible. Briefly poor in any showers in the morning with patchy cloud on the tops.

Mountain weather information

Saturday 23 October

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Dry start but soon clouding over with rain spreading east during the morning. Strong southerly winds with severe gales on the tops. Freezing level rising above summits.

Sunday 24 October

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Rain clearing east overnight then sunny spells and a few showers, sleety on the highest Munro tops. Strong southwesterly winds. Freezing level above the summits.

Monday 25 October

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Sunny spells and occasional showers, wintry on the Munro tops. Strong southwesterly winds.

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