Mountain weather

Northwest Highlands

Northwest Highlands 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 Heavy Persistent Rain
Heavy and persistent rain can lead to drenched clothing and footwear with waterproofs often becoming soaked through, especially if accompanied by strong winds. This can lead to significant loss of body heat and an increased likelihood of hypothermia. Terrain may turn increasingly boggy underfoot while streams can flood and become impassable. There may also be a risk of flooding in valleys or glens. If there is snow cover, a heightened avalanche hazard is possible and avalanche reports should be consulted where available.
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 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.

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)
Light rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Light shower (night)
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
40% 80% 80% 00% 70% 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
1000m SW
27
S
35
SW
30
SW
31
W
35
W
34
W
32
W
30
900m SW
26
S
32
SW
29
SW
30
W
34
W
33
W
31
W
28
600m SW
19
S
23
SW
20
SW
22
W
26
W
25
W
23
W
20
300m SW
6
S
7
SW
8
SW
9
W
12
W
11
W
11
W
9
Glen S
11
S
15
SW
12
SW
16
W
19
W
18
W
18
W
13
Wind gust (mph)
Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m 34 45 39 42 48 47 44 41
900m 33 42 38 40 48 47 43 39
600m 27 33 29 32 39 38 35 31
300m 25 30 28 31 38 37 34 30
Glen 24 30 26 31 36 35 33 27

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m
900m
600m
300m
10°
Glen
10°
10°
10°
11°
12°
11°
10°
Freezing Level
1,300m
1,500m
1,700m
1,600m
1,400m
1,200m
1,100m
1,000m

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1000m
-5°
-5°
-3°
-2°
-3°
-5°
-6°
-7°
900m
-3°
-4°
-2°
-1°
-2°
-4°
-4°
-6°
600m
-2°
300m
Glen

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 Northwest Highlands 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 heavy with hail and thunder possible at times. Westerly gales will continue and it will feel cold with some sleet on the munro tops.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

60%

Maximum wind speed expected

West or southwesterly 30mph with gusts 45-50mph.

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 area of Assynt includes some of the most remote and distinguished peaks in Scotland including Suilven, Quinag and Stac Pollaidh which stand tall and castle-like above areas of moorland and lochans. Glen Shiel and Glen Affric are characterised by dramatic steep mountain sides, lofty ridges and a high concentration of Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet), making it a highly popular area for ‘Munro baggers’.   

The Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye are among the steepest and most technically challenging mountains in the UK. There are twelve Munros including the Inaccessible Pinnacle which is the only Munro which requires rock climbing to reach its summit. There are two main ranges; the magnificent Black Cuillin (or Cuillin Ridge) and the Red Cuillin (also known as the Red Hills) which are more rounded in nature.

Torridon has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland including the classic trio of Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe. The latter also includes Britain's first National Nature Reserve where you may spot golden eagles, crossbills, pine martins and wild cats on your travels.

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