Mountain weather
Amber warning

Amber weather warning in force for North Grampian

North Grampian Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

Low for extent of any rain on Wednesday afternoon. High for cold and unsettled weather from Thursday onwards, but low for daily detail on Friday and Saturday.

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 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 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 Storm Force Winds
Storm force winds (gusts over 70mph) make walking very strenuous with any mobility virtually impossible over exposed ground. Where these conditions occur there is a high risk of being blown over and even standing may be impossible at times with a risk of being blown off one’s feet. Basic tasks such as using a map, eating, putting on extra clothing or communication become extremely difficult away from any shelter.

Mountain weather forecast

Windy with rain and low cloud developing through the morning, drier in the afternoon

06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather
(at 800m)
Light snow Sleet Light rain Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
30% 60% 40% 30% 30% 30%

Wind direction and speed (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m SW
27
S
41
S
44
S
41
SW
41
SW
40
900m S
30
S
45
S
46
S
41
SW
40
SW
40
600m SW
19
S
30
S
33
SW
28
SW
25
SW
26
300m S
4
S
12
S
16
SW
14
SW
14
SW
14
Glen SW
4
S
6
SW
10
SW
7
SW
5
SW
6
Wind gust (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m 35 52 57 53 56 55
900m 35 53 56 50 50 51
600m 25 41 45 38 34 37
300m 15 28 36 32 32 32
Glen 18 25 32 27 25 25

Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-2°
-4°
-3°
-2°
-1°
900m
600m
300m
Glen
Freezing Level
900m
800m
1,000m
1,500m
1,400m
1,400m

Altitude above mean sea level
06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-11°
-14°
-13°
-11°
-10°
-9°
900m
-6°
-6°
-6°
-4°
-4°
-4°
600m
-2°
-4°
-3°
300m
Glen

Additional weather information

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Note rapid rise in freezing level by the afternoon, some thaw of any fresh snow at lower elevations especially. Strong to gale summit winds will make for slow progress. Gusty southerly winds across the Cairngorms with speeds approaching 70 mph at times.

Weather

Starting off dry. Rain, preceded by snow, will spread east across all parts through the morning. The afternoon will be cloudy but drier with only some patchy light rain or drizzle. Little change into the evening with further patchy rain.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

30%, best chance first thing

Low cloud and visibility

Good visibility at first. However becoming poor in rain and snow through the morning with extensive low cloud developing down to 500 to 800 metres. Little change for most of the afternoon, however low cloud may become more broken from late afternoon onwards.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

A bright and cold day with scattered snow and hail showers, these occasionally heavy especially across the west of the area. Very windy.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

60%

Maximum wind speed expected

West to southwesterly winds with average speeds 40 mph gust 50 mph, but gusts nearer to 65 mph across the Cairngorm Plateau

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 1 falling to minus 1 Celsius
  • Glen Plus 1 rising to 6 Celsius
  • Freezing level 1200 metres at first quickly falling back to 700 metres. Lowering further to 400 metres after dark

Low cloud and visibility

Excellent visibility and great air clarity outside of cloud and showers. Patchy cloud down to 800 metres in the heavier showers, although this may become more extensive for a time in the afternoon.

Mountain weather information

Fri 1 Mar

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Largely dry, but persistent snow is likely to spread north and west later. Freezing level 500 metres.

Sat 2 Mar

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Chance of some snow in the early hours. Otherwise cold and bright with scattered snow showers. Freezing level 500 metres.

Sun 3 Mar

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Remaining unsettled with spells of rain, sleet and snow. Freezing level 400 metres, rising to 800 metres in the east for a time.

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