The Lake District weather forecast

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Fell Top Conditions on Monday 22 December

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 13:00

Temperature plus 6.0°C Maximum wind speed 45.9mph Wind chill minus 2.1°C Average wind speed SW 33.3mph

There are several adjectives to describe the fell top conditions today; however in case you are reading this before the watershed, I will simply state that there was constant rain, with no break, driven in on storm force SW winds. This rain and mild conditions - it was plus 6 degrees on the summit - is rapidly thawing the remaining snow. There is now hardly any snow below 900m. Above 900m snow coverage depends on aspect and is limited to sheltered hollows and on east facing slopes, where there are drifts of wet snow up to 20cm although such depth is the exception.

Despite the milder conditions, full winter clothing and footwear are essential for those venturing out onto the fells as the summit windchill remains below freezing. The exit to Striding Edge retains a steep patch of wet snow which is avoidable if you pick your route. Conversely Swirral Edge is almost snow free.

To state the obvious, becks and rivers are now in full spate and will remain so for at least the next 24 hrs. With the ground being saturated, when temperatures do drop, walkers should expect to encounter ice on paths.

Met Office forecast for Tuesday

Issued 22 December at 15:33

Persistent rain and cloud is expected to continue throughout most of Tuesday. However, the rain is likely to become more patchy during the afternoon, before starting to clear southwards in the evening as clearer drier weather moves in from the North.

0000 to 0300

Light rain 90% chance of precipitation

0300 to 0600

Heavy Rain 70% chance of precipitation

0600 to 0900

Heavy Rain 80% chance of precipitation

0900 to 1200

Heavy Rain 80% chance of precipitation

1200 to 1500

Heavy Rain 80% chance of precipitation

1500 to 1800

Heavy Rain 70% chance of precipitation

1800 to 2100

Light rain 60% chance of precipitation

2100 to 2400

Partly cloudy 30% chance of precipitation


Moderate, becoming good later as rain clears.

Hill fog

Persistent down to 400m to start, and down to 100m across the western parts, but becoming more patchy during the afternoon before mostly clearing the summits by the evening, with occasional patches down to 700m remaining.

Wind at 500m

Westerly 45-50mph gusting up to 70mph across the highest peaks easing during the day and becoming northwesterly 20-25mph gusting up to 30mph in the evening.


  • Valleys/low level: Plus 6 Celsius rising to plus 10 Celsius before falling down to plus 5 Celsius in the evening.
  • At 900m: Plus 4 Celsius falling to minus 1 Celsius during the evening.
  • Freezing level: Just above the summits to start but lowering down to 900m by the late evening.


- from


Storm force winds

Medium risk - Gusts of 70-75mph are expected, giving a risk of losing one's footing. Easing in the evening.


High risk - Gusts of 50mph and above are expected most of the day.

Severe chill effect

Medium risk - Strong winds in combination with persistent rain will give a chill effect.

Persistent extensive hill fog

High risk - Persistent down to 100m, especially over western fells, most of the day.


No risk

Heavy persistent rain

High risk - Rain will persist throughout most of the day with high totals.

Strong sunlight

No risk


No risk

Heavy snow

No risk

Forecast for Wednesday

Generally a fine and dry day with sunny spells. However, a few showers are possible, which will be wintry over around 600m. Snow will not settle, apart from some possible light dusting across the highest peaks.


Generally good, but temporarily moderate or poor in snow showers.

Hill fog

Isolated patches down to 500m, becoming occasional in the afternoon. These will be mainly confined across the north and west parts of park.

Wind at 500m

Northwest wind 20-25 gusting up to 40, however through the day gradually becoming west 30-35 gusting up to 60 across the highest peaks.


  • Valleys/low level: Plus 3 Celsius in the morning, rising to plus 8 Celsius in the afternoon. However, dropping down to plus 1 Celsius in the evening.
  • At 900m: Around minus 1 Celsius.
  • Freezing level Around 800m.

Outlook for next few days


A frosty start, then a clear and crisp winter's day, with perhaps the odd wintry shower over the fells. Light westerly winds becoming northwesterly. Freezing level lowering to 200-400m.


A fine and dry start with a widespread frost. However cloud will spread in from the west during the day ahead of a band of rain. Snow is expected on the leading edge of this band, however soon it will turn into rain. Winds will also strengthen and turn southerly with the risk for gales. Freezing level around 300m to start but rising above the summits during the afternoon and evening.


Persistent and heavy rain continue to spread from the west, this clearing in the morning with some snow showers following. Strong southerly winds will turn to northwesterly during the day with the freezing level dropping from above the summits to 500m.

Recent conditions

On 22 Dec 2014Click on photo to see full version

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