The Weather

The Weather


Check the weather forecast and consider various weather related issues


The Weather 

The Weather

 
In the UK we're preoccupied with the weather. We're never happy, but most of the time it doesn't really matter when away from the hills. However, the weather you experience in the mountains can change the fortunes of your day, so as a minimum you need to know what the forecast is for the area in which you're intending to walk and be prepared for what's in store.


The forecast can determine what kit you need, lead you to change the route or cancel the walk altogether.

Link to weather forecast sites

Questions and Issues Arising

 

Question

Issues Arising

What is the forecast temperature valley level?

The temperature lowers by between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius for every 1,000ft (300 metres) of ascent. This needs to be factored into your choice of kit. 

 

What is the forecast wind speed?

Your route needs to take account of the likely wind speed, bearing in mind that the speed at the top of a hill is likely to be 2 or 3 times as fast as forecast for the valley. Exposed ridges should be avoided as there is an increased risk of getting blown off. If the air temperature is low, the wind against bare skin will feel much colder, aka wind-chill, and if not prepared can lead to frostbite or hypothermia.

 

Is it due to rain, or snow?

Apart from being a dampener on your day, heavy rain might rule out the intended route. Are there any streams or burns to cross? If so, they could be in spate and dangerous or impossible to cross. Settled snow can be fun to walk in but if snow is due to fall: visibility will be reduced; paths will be indistinct; temperatures will be lower; higher risk of avalanche, particularly when snowing and on certain types of slope


At what height will the clouds be?

If the clouds are to be at a lower height than the maximum height you will reach, you’ll have seriously reduced visibility. Are the paths distinct enough to find your way if so? Or, are you a good enough navigator to deal with the cloud?

 

Is the weather due to be extremely hot? If there's a heatwave, the route should be carefully considered for length and whether there are any opportunities to collect water from steams en route. Take sufficient water to avoid heat exhaustion, which can lead to the medical emergency of heat stroke.

 

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