Mountain weather

Southwest Highlands

Southwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for mild with a generally southerly flow which pushes areas of showers and perhaps some heavy rain across the area, but lowering confidence in the detail.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
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 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.
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.
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

Monday cloudy with showers or longer periods of rain and summit gales. Best of shelter in west.

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather
(at 800m)
Light rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Light rain Cloudy Fog
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
20% 80% 80% 60% 40% 20%

Wind direction and speed (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m SE
47
E
50
SE
45
SE
32
SE
25
SE
17
900m SE
37
SE
38
SE
34
SE
25
SE
20
SE
16
600m E
34
E
45
SE
40
SE
23
SE
16
S
8
300m NE
15
E
15
E
18
E
15
E
13
SE
6
Glen E
14
NE
16
NE
17
E
9
N
5
NE
4
Wind gust (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m 58 63 58 42 33 22
900m 50 51 47 35 27 21
600m 41 55 52 32 22 11
300m 21 22 30 25 24 12
Glen 27 30 29 16 10 10

Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
900m
600m
10°
12°
11°
11°
10°
300m
10°
11°
11°
11°
Glen
10°
11°
12°
12°
12°
12°
Freezing Level
2,500m
2,600m
2,700m
2,500m
2,400m
2,300m

Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-6°
-6°
-6°
-3°
-2°
900m
-3°
-2°
-1°
600m
300m
10°
Glen
11°
12°
12°

Additional weather information

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Summit gales developing combining with driving rain, quite extensive hill fog and at height severe wind chill to bring some difficult conditions.

Weather

A cloudy day with areas of showers merging to longer periods of rain for much of the day, particularly across eastern ranges where some heavy outbreaks and a risk of thunder appears. Turning drier late afternoon and early evening with some brighter spells developing.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

Ranging from 70% in west and 30% in east

Low cloud and visibility

Becoming moderate or poor in rain and showers, very poor within cloud with bases by day quite extensive in east, broken in west, above 500m.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Mainly dry and bright start, then becoming increasingly cloudy with patchy rain reaching from the west around mid-day, which turns more organised and heavy later.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

80% becoming 20% later

Maximum wind speed expected

Southeast mean 25-30mph with gusts reaching 40-45mph across most exposed ridges and summits, easing a little from mid-afternoon.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 7 Celsius increasing 10 Celsius during the afternoon
  • Glen Plus 5 Celsius increasing 19 Celsius during the afternoon
  • Freezing level 2500m

Low cloud and visibility

Good or very good at first, becoming moderate or poor in rain, very poor within cloud with bases becoming in later rain quite extensive above 500m.

Mountain weather information

Wed 18 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Details likely to shift in subsequent forecasts. Current thoughts are mainly dry and occasionally bright by day, but band of occasionally heavy rain currently timed to clear before dawn, with further rain extending from the west for the evening. Strong southerly summit winds. Freezing level above all summits.

Thu 19 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Showers, probably heavier and more frequent late in day. Strong southerly summit winds. Freezing level above all summits.

Fri 20 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Showers or longer periods of rain. Strong southwesterly summit winds. Freezing level above all summits.

Updated at:

Summit specific forecast

Mountain summit forecast map

Loading map…

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