Mountain weather

Southwest Highlands

Southwest 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 thicken as rain east across the western Isles 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 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 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 shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Heavy shower (day) Sunny intervals
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
40% 80% 80% 80% 60% 40% 30% 20%

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 S
28
S
38
SW
35
SW
34
W
35
W
36
W
34
SW
32
900m SW
21
S
27
SW
25
SW
26
W
29
W
29
W
28
W
24
600m S
24
S
33
SW
31
SW
28
W
28
W
31
W
26
SW
24
300m S
13
S
17
S
17
SW
16
W
18
W
19
W
18
SW
13
Glen SW
11
S
12
SW
14
W
15
W
16
W
18
W
15
SW
11
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 35 48 45 45 48 50 47 43
900m 27 36 35 36 41 42 40 35
600m 31 42 40 38 40 44 38 35
300m 20 27 27 27 30 33 30 23
Glen 22 25 28 29 32 35 31 24

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-1°
-1°
900m
600m
300m
10°
Glen
10°
10°
12°
13°
12°
11°
Freezing Level
1,300m
1,500m
1,700m
1,700m
1,400m
1,200m
1,100m
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°
-7°
-5°
-4°
-6°
-8°
-9°
-10°
900m
-2°
-3°
-1°
-1°
-2°
-4°
-5°
600m
-1°
300m
Glen
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 Southwest 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 with 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 35mph with gusts 50-60mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Plus 1 rising to 4 Celsius.
  • Glen Plus 8 rising to 11 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 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