Mountain weather

North Grampian Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High confidence for turning colder with stronger winds midweek, bringing some wintry precipitation together with a significant windchill to higher summits. Turning more settled over the weekend. Lower confidence for the rainfall timings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

This evening forecast

After a few early evening showers, conditions will become dry with clear spells for a time. The wind will strengthen and cloud will begin to thicken towards midnight.

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 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.

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

Cold and windy with widespread rain then showers becoming drier and brighter towards evening.

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather
(at 800m)
Cloudy Light rain Heavy rain Heavy shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Light shower (day) Light shower (day) Partly cloudy (night)
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
40% 40% 60% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40%

Wind direction and speed (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m SW
23
S
30
S
33
SW
34
W
36
W
39
W
37
W
35
900m SW
21
S
29
S
33
SW
33
W
32
W
34
W
30
W
28
600m SW
14
S
19
S
23
SW
23
W
25
W
25
W
21
W
19
300m SW
6
S
10
S
13
SW
14
W
17
W
17
W
14
W
11
Glen SW
3
S
3
SW
5
SW
7
W
9
W
9
W
7
W
5
Wind gust (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m 30 39 44 46 51 54 51 48
900m 27 37 43 42 44 47 42 39
600m 20 26 32 32 37 38 34 30
300m 17 23 30 29 35 34 30 25
Glen 16 18 21 24 29 29 27 22

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-2°
900m
600m
300m
10°
12°
11°
Glen
11°
14°
12°
10°
Freezing Level
1,300m
1,400m
1,600m
1,800m
1,500m
1,400m
1,200m
1,100m

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-7°
-8°
-7°
-5°
-5°
-6°
-9°
-10°
900m
-2°
-3°
-2°
-1°
-1°
-3°
-5°
600m
-1°
300m
Glen
11°
10°

Additional weather information

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Feeling chilly on the summits with southwesterly winds reaching gale force.

Weather

Overcast skies and widespread rain as a front moves east across the Cairngorms in the early morning. This rain will turn showery and heavy at times during the morning becoming blustery in strong westerly winds on the hills during the afternoon, gales likely. Showers turn to sleet on higher summits by late afternoon before dying out as clear spells develop in the evening.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

40% increasing to 60% as low cloud associated with morning rain lifts and clears from late afternoon.

Low cloud and visibility

Broken low cloud in the morning with bases 4-500m. During the afternoon and evening cloud bases will rise above most summits with patches of low cloud around 6-700m. Moderate visibility in rain may turn poor in heavier showers. Later in the day visibility will become very good with some fine late evening conditions.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Showers will be interspersed with bright spells throughout the day. These showers will be locally heavy in the afternoon and fall as snow on the Munro tops. Westerly gales will continue and it will feel bitterly cold

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

60%

Maximum wind speed expected

West or southwesterly 40-50mph with gusts 70-80mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 1 rising to 4 Celsius.
  • Glen Plus 7 rising to 10 Celsius.
  • Freezing level 1000m.

Low cloud and visibility

Broken cloud with bases around 6-700m in the morning will gradually rise above summits by the afternoon with patches of low cloud associated with showers at 7-800m. The visibility will be moderate in showers but poor in heavier falls becoming good between showers.

Mountain weather information

Fri 27 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Continuing blustery showers with a risk of thunder and a slight risk of hail in strong northwesterly winds. Showers ease and bright spells increase as the wind eases from Friday afternoon.

Sat 28 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mainly dry with a risk of the occasional light shower in moderate northwesterly winds.

Sun 29 May

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Bright or sunny spells with occasional showers building in moderate northerly winds.

Updated at:

Summit specific forecast

Mountain summit forecast map

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The North Grampian mountain weather forecast area includes much of the Cairngorms National Park which boasts five of the UK's six highest mountains and includes the largest areas of land in the UK above 2000 and 3000 feet. The Cairngorm Plateau is well-known for its extreme and very changeable weather (the strongest gust ever recorded in the UK was 173mph on Cairngorm Summit on 20th March 1986). Despite the challenging conditions, there is a diverse range of wildlife in the area including golden eagles, snow bunting and ptarmigan.   

Creag Meagaidh, to the north of Glen Spean, is where the east Highlands meet the west Highlands and is often exposed to bad weather from either direction. It is a popular area for ice climbing thanks to its vast plateau which includes five Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet).

Ben Alder lies just to the west of Loch Ericht and is one of the remotest of the Munros. Approaches are long from all directions with options including a long walk or cycle from Dalwhinnie to the northeast or by taking a train to the very remote Corrour Station and walking in from the southwest.

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