Mountain weather

Southwest Highlands

Southwest Highlands Mountain weather forecast table

Confidence

High for the cold weather to continue. Lower for cloud and snow shower detail.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

This evening forecast

A mainly dry evening with variable cloud and some clear spells, patchy hill fog. Perhaps the odd light snow shower over Mull and the Paps of Jura. Fresh northerly breeze on tops and freezing at all levels.

Sunrise:
Sunset:
Mountain hazards

Mountain weather hazards

Hazards apply at or above 300m, reflecting the more severe conditions which can occur at altitude.

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.

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.

Mountain weather forecast

A mostly dry day with variable cloud and some bright or sunny spells. Chance of a few light snow showers over the Island hills and the west coast. Bitterly cold at height.

00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Weather
(at 800m)
Partly cloudy (night) Light snow shower (night) Partly cloudy (night) Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Partly cloudy (night) Clear night
Chance of precipitation
(at 800m)
10% 30% 20% 10% 20% 10% 10% <05%

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 NW
24
W
21
N
22
N
18
W
14
N
14
N
14
NE
15
900m NW
12
NW
9
NW
9
NW
8
NW
8
NW
7
N
8
NE
10
600m SW
12
SW
11
SW
12
SW
8
SW
8
NW
6
NW
6
NE
8
300m NW
5
W
6
NE
5
SW
4
W
3
E
3
NE
4
NE
4
Glen W
5
W
7
NW
5
NW
4
NW
3
NW
3
NW
3
N
3
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 29 25 26 22 17 17 18 19
900m 17 14 14 13 11 10 11 14
600m 16 14 15 11 11 8 9 11
300m 10 10 8 6 6 6 7 7
Glen 13 14 10 9 9 6 6 6

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-7°
-6°
-6°
-7°
-6°
-7°
-7°
-7°
900m
-4°
-4°
-4°
-4°
-4°
-4°
-4°
-5°
600m
-2°
-2°
-2°
-2°
-2°
-2°
-2°
-2°
300m
-1°
-1°
-1°
-1°
Glen
-1°
Freezing Level
100m
300m
200m
200m
300m
300m
100m
0m

Altitude above mean sea level
00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
1300m
-16°
-14°
-15°
-15°
-13°
-13°
-14°
-14°
900m
-11°
-9°
-9°
-9°
-8°
-8°
-9°
-10°
600m
-8°
-7°
-7°
-6°
-6°
-5°
-6°
-6°
300m
-4°
-4°
-4°
-2°
-1°
-2°
-3°
-4°
Glen
-2°
-2°
-2°
-1°
-2°
-3°

Additional weather information

Met Office Aberdeen meteorologist's view

Despite modest wind speeds, sub-zero temperatures at most levels will lead to a bitterly cold day.

Weather

A few mostly light snow showers possible overnight, mainly over Lochaber and the west coast. The day will be mainly dry and bright inland with some sunny intervals, though patchy cloud could linger on the summits. The island ranges and western coasts will perhaps see a few passing snow showers but these should be mainly light.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

40% overnight and 70% by day.

Low cloud and visibility

Areas of low cloud below 600m near snow showers, mainly Lochaber overnight and the island and west coast hills at any time. Very poor visibility in cloud and occasionally moderate to poor in showers but generally good otherwise.

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Mountain weather information

Weather

Mostly dry over Argyll and Lochaber with some sunny spells. Further east a chance of some light snow showers, mainly affecting the Trossachs.

Chance of cloud-free hill tops

90% in west, 50% in east.

Maximum wind speed expected

Northeast 20 gusts 30mph.

Temperature

  • At 800m Minus 4 Celsius
  • Glen Minus 6 Celsius rising to Plus 2 at best and remaining below freezing in places.
  • Freezing level All levels

Low cloud and visibility

Occasional cloud at 750m in the east in snow showers with occasionally moderate or poor visibility below cloud, but generally good visibility otherwise.

Mountain weather information

Sun 11 Dec

Sunrise:
Sunset:

A dry bright day with some sunny spells. Freezing at all levels with severe frost in the glend. Light winds.

Mon 12 Dec

Sunrise:
Sunset:

A mainly dry day with some longer sunny spells, and just the chance of a passing light snow shower in the Trossachs. Freezing level 300m with a fresh easterly wind.

Tue 13 Dec

Sunrise:
Sunset:

Again mainly dry and bright but cold with a stronger east or southeast wind, freezing level around 300m

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