Mountain Weather Forecast - Issued 16th February 2012
Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:17
Rain in south, blizzards in the north on Saturday; brighter on Sunday
Winter returns to the Highlands this weekend. Low pressure off Norway and high pressure in the Atlantic means a run of cold Arctic air down over the country behind a cold front bring rain south on Saturday whilst heavy snow showers pack into the North and West Highlands. As a ridge of high pressure moves over the British Isles on Sunday it should turn drier and bright though chilly.
The Weekend in Detail:
Saturday 18th February - Low cloud and rain across the Southern Uplands to start the day, spreading south across England and Wales through the morning. Rain havey at times and it may turn a little wintry on the back edge over higher ground. The afternoon seeing brighter conditions in southern Scotland, northern England and later Wales, with cloud rising and breaking, though it may be late in the day before the Brecon Beacons become clear. Turning colder in a stiff north or northwesterly wind. A few snow showers may affect Galloway and northern parts of the Lake District later in the afternoon before dying out in the evening.
The Highlands already in much colder air by morning with a rash of heavy snow showers coming in form the north west. These will be heaviest and most frequent to the north of the Great Glen, with snow falling and settling to low level away from the coast, whilst southern parts of Argyll and Perthshire should see the best of brighter conditions and a better chance of cloud free summits. Winds will be very strong and up to storm force over higher summits with strong gales to low levels in Sutherland and down towards Lochaber. This means blizzard and whiteout conditions can be expected over most hills in the north and west and at times over higher summits in the Central and East Highlands as well. Showers should ease overnight with a widespread frost developing.
Sunday 19th February - It should be a much better day in all parts. Winds will be lighter, though gales over higher summits in the Highlands are still possible and there will again be a significant windchill. Generally cloud should be broken and above most summits. A few snow showers are still likely in the Highlands, mainly across Sutherland and Caithness and down the west coast, though these will all be lighter and less frequent than on Saturday. The occasional wintry shower may also affect western parts of Cumbria and Snowdonia in the afternoon. Outside of these scattered showers though - and especially across most central and eastern parts - it should be quite a fine, if chilly, day for the hills with good visibility.
Monday will see rain, proceeded by snow over higher ground, especially in Scotland, push in from the west as the weather turns unsettled for the week. Low pressure dominating to the north of Britain, with high pressure to the south. Strong west or southwesterly winds and bands of rain moving quickly across from the west, occasionally turning wintry over higher summits in the Highlands though for the most part temperatures will be mild for mid February. Next weekend though may well see conditions turn a little colder again as high pressure builds in the Atlantic and winds become more northwesterly bringing a greater risk of snow for the Highlands and maybe a chance of a few wintry showers further south as well for a time. Similar unsettled conditions - though probably cooler with snow at times, especially in the Highlands but possibly further south too - look like persisting through to the end of the month, with March all set to come in like a lion. Quite possibly a snowy lion in the Highlands.
For the latest daily weather update covering most upland regions of Britain, more please visit The Mountain Weather Information Service website provided by Geoff Monk.
Met Office Mountain Forecasts are also available for the Highlands, Lake District, Peak District and Wales.
Avalanche news for the Highlands is provided by SAIS
Note: this is a personal interpretation of likely weather conditions on the UK hills and is intended for general guidance purposes only. Local conditions may vary and changes may occur suddenly and without warning. Extreme caution should always be exercised when venturing into the hills
TOI 11.15 GMT – 16th February 2012
Forecast by Andy Mayhew for Ukww
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