One of the most important pieces of information to know when heading out into the hills is the weather forecast for the day(s) ahead. Gathered here are a selection of weather forecasts and condition reports both national and for specific areas. For some sites I’ve included my personal opinion of how useful I have found them in the past.
Forecasts specifically for mountain users
Mountain Weather Information Service - (http://www.mwis.org.uk) Recently updated (Jan 06) to now include detailed forecasts for 8 areas of the UK:
- The North West Highlands of Scotland
- The West Highlands of Scotland
- Caingorms National Park and Monadhliath
- The Southeastern Highlands of Scotland
- The Southern Uplands of Scotland
- The Cumbrian Fells
- The English Peak District
- The Snowdonia area of Wales
These forecasts are freely available as Adobe PDF files and are designed especially for mountain users. From personal experience I have found these forecasts reliable and consider them the best forecasts freely available on the Internet.
Lake District Weather Line - (Weather Line) Run by the National Park Authority this provides a forecast for the day ahead at about 08:00 and for the next day about 17:00. Phone 0870 055 0575 and listen to the recorded message (6p/minute from within UK, usually lasts about 2 minutes). A text version of this message can be found on the National Park website.
Met Office Mountain Forecasts for Wales - Cover Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons. Funded by the Welsh Assembly.
Accuweather - (http://ukie.accuweather.com/adcbin/ukie/ukie_mountain_index.asp) UK & Ireland Mountain Weather
Metcheck - (http://www.metcheck.com/V40/UK/HOBBIES/mountain.asp) Mountain and Hill forecasts for most major walking areas for the next 72 hrs.
Avalanche Reports / Snow Conditions
sportscotland Avalanche Information Service - (http://www.sais.gov.uk/) Provides daily forecasts of the avalanche, snow and climbing conditions in 5 areas of Scotland during the winter season:
- Creag Meagaidh
- Northern Cairngorms
- Southern Cairngorms
General Weather Forecasts
The Met Office - (http://www.meto.gov.uk)
BBC Weather - (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather)