Fell Top Conditions on Friday 20 January
Readings from Helvellyn summit at 12:00
Temperature plus 0.2°C Maximum wind speed 17.3mph Wind chill minus 7.1°C Average wind speed 10.8mph Wind direction SW
A very slightly colder day on the high fells today, but no sign of the fresh snow that was forecast. Only inconsequential areas of old snow now remain, and this is only to be found above 750m in small patches. Today however, what little snow there is was hard due to the colder temperatures following the recent thaw. No ice was encountered on paths today although the ground was very wet. In a few places on the Edges and other rocky parts of the mountain above 800m verglas (thin, black ice) was present, making walking on these rocks hazardous. The day was largely dry, with just the odd drizzle being felt in the cloud.
The main challenge again today was poor visibility, with the cloud base being firm at around 450m for the most part of the day. Above this height visibility was reduced to around 20m.
At the time of writing the forecast over the weekend is for the freezing level to be at around 800m, so full winter clothing, including spare layers, footwear and equipment are essential for those venturing out onto the fells, as are map and compass and good navigational skills in the low cloud. An ice axe and crampons may be useful if we do get the forecasted colder temperatures.
Met Office forecast for Friday
Issued 20 January at 03:23
Remaining mainly dry but mostly cloudy. The clouds may well be thick enough to give spots of drizzle, especially towards the south of the National Park and also fells west of Windermere. Some clear spells developing later in the day.
Generally good although rather hazy beneath the cloud. Occasionally poor in drizzle patches.
Extensive above about 500 to 600M. Some patches lower down early on Friday.
Wind at 500m
Light winds on the tops, generally southerly with average speeds about 10 to 15mph.
- Valleys/low level: Plus 4 Celsius rising to Plus 7 Celsius.
- At 900m: Plus 1 Celsius.
- Freezing level: Staying about 900M.
- from time.is
Storm force winds
Severe chill effect
Persistent extensive hill fog
Medium risk - Extensive above about 500 to 600M and may be persistent, especially over southern Lakes.
Heavy persistent rain
Forecast for Saturday
The dry weather looks set to continue. Still fairly extensive cloud cover at first but it will thin and break through the day to give most climbing areas some sunshine during the day, the best of this across the north of the park.
Generally good although still rather hazy.
Extensive fog above about 600 to 700M at first becoming more isolated through the day.
Wind at 500m
Light south or southeasterly winds on the tops, average speeds about 10 to 15mph.
- Valleys/low level: Plus 3 Celsius rising to 7 Celsius.
- At 900m: Minus 1 Celsius
- Freezing level 800M.
Outlook for next few days
Mainly dry and mostly cloudy but again cloud breaks leading to some sunshine. Light winds on the summits with freezing level about 800M.
The mostly dry weather continuing with just a little light rain, mainly south and west of National Park. Freezing level above highest peaks. Southwesterly winds freshening over the tops later.
Cloudy with patchy light rain, mainly over western fells. Becoming windy with southwesterly gales developing over the tops.