Fell Top Conditions on Wednesday 7 December
Readings from Helvellyn summit at 11:45
Temperature plus 7.9°C Maximum wind speed 57.8mph Wind chill minus 3.6°C Average wind speed 39.5mph Wind direction SW
A wet, warm and wild day on Helvellyn today. The thaw of what little snow remains continues, and there is now hardly any snow at all below 700m. There are still some extensive patches above this height, but by and large they are easily avoidable. The ground on both Swirral and Striding Edge was mainly wet, bare rock, however on Swirral Edge in particular there are still a few patches of snow persisting. On exits from both Swirral and Striding Edges onto the summit plateau today the snow had all but gone, but not quite completely. Any lowering of the temperature over the next few days (although not currently forecast) would soon turn these remaining patches into very hard snow. Owing to this, for those attempting exposed routes above the snowline, an ice axe might still be found useful.
Throughout the morning the cloud base hung at around 350m, and heavy rain eased occasionally to a mere drizzle. Gale force SW winds made the crossing of both edges challenging, and had the wind turned more to the south Striding Edge in particular would have been out of the question. The other notable challenge today was navigation, with visibility reduced for much of the time to around 10m.
Full winter clothing, footwear and equipment are essential for those venturing out into the fells, as despite the milder summit temperature, the windchill remains well below zero. A map and compass and the knowledge of how to use them are essential.
Met Office forecast for Thursday
Issued 8 December at 04:13
Rain, possibly heavy, continuing at first this morning then becoming mainly dry. Low cloud will continue to bring extensive hill fog but some breaks to the east and northeast of the higher fell ranges, allowing some sunny intervals.
Poor much of the time with extensive hill fog, becoming good in shelter during the day.
Persistent to 300-450m with patches to lower levels in the west, though becoming more patchy above 600-750m in the east and northeast at times.
Wind at 500m
Southwest 25 gusts 40mph
- Valleys/low level: Plus 9 Celsius rising Plus 12 during the day.
- At 900m: Plus 6 Celsius
- Freezing level: Above the summits.
- from time.is
Storm force winds
Severe chill effect
Persistent extensive hill fog
High risk - Navigational difficulties
Heavy persistent rain
Low risk - Risk in south at first on Thursday morning.
Forecast for Friday
Another dull day with extensive hill fog. Some patchy drizzle, then more persistent and occasionally heavy rain setting in during the late afternoon and evening.
Moderate to poor.
Widespread 300-500m with lower patches in the west.
Wind at 500m
South to southwest 35 gusts 45mph increasing 50 gusts 65mph during the dat.
- Valleys/low level: Plus 9 Celsius overnight rising Plus 12 during the day and Plus 9 in the evening.
- At 900m: Plus 6 Celsius easing down to Plus 4 in the evening.
- Freezing level Above the summits.
Outlook for next few days
A brighter day with hill fog becoming much more patchy. A fresh to strong westerly breeze on the summits and freezing levels just above the tops.
Another fairly bright day with sunny intervals. Quite breezy on the summits and feeling cold there with the freezing level around 900m.
It may start dry but the unsettled weather continues so it looks like cloud, rain and summit snow will spread from the southwest accompanied by strong to gale force south or southwest winds.