Mountain weather

Southwest Highlands

There may be weather warnings in force for the UK

Southwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for Thursday. High for deteriorating conditions on Friday, but lower for timing of rain and snow and snow falling level. Low confidence for the weekend and Monday.

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 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.

Mountain weather forecast

Low cloud and a few snow showers in the morning. Mainly dry and sunny afternoon.

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 notable wind chill at height. Fresh snow down to glen levels.

Weather

Frequent snow showers during the early hours. Low cloud in the morning, but showers becoming confined to the coast. Dry with sunny spells in the afternoon. Clear skies in the evening will allow temperatures to fall quickly.

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

10% or less during the morning, cloud extensive above 400m, near the west coast, 500-600m further east. Improving to 40-50% in the afternoon, 80% by the evening as cloud lifts and breaks.

Visibility

Very poor in low cloud at height in the morning, becoming very good or excellent through the afternoon as cloud breaks up.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

High cloud spreads west through the early hours. Cloud thickens and lowers soon after dawn with snow through the morning, becoming patchier by the afternoon and turning to rain below 500-600m. Heavier, more persistent snow, rain below 800m, spreads west across most ranges in the evening.

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

100% around dawn. Soon falling to 10-20% as increasingly extensive cloud lowers to 500-700m in the morning. Best chance of cloud breaks across western coastal ranges, especially in the afternoon.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northeast 20 gusting 30 mph, increasing to 35-40 gusting 55 mph soon after dawn.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 4 Celsius rising to minus 1 Celsius in the afternoon.
  • Glen Minus 1 Celsius rising to plus 4 Celsius in the afternoon.
  • Freezing level 100m, rising to 400m by mid-morning, 800m by dusk, then 1000m in the evening

Visibility

Very good or excellent at dawn. Deteriorating to very poor at height as low cloud spreads west in the morning. Often near zero with blizzards and white out conditions at munro level.

Mountain weather information

Saturday 5 December

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Fresh to strong northeast winds gradually easing. A cloudy day with some rain, sleet, snow mainly above 700m at first, but turning mostly dry. Freezing level 800-1000m.

Sunday 6 December

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Cold and mostly cloudy, but likely to be dry. Light winds. Freezing level 800-1000m, falling to 500m inland in the evening.

Monday 7 December

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Cold and most likely dry with light winds. Cloud may well break up to give some sunny spells. Freezing level 500-600m.

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