The Lake District weather forecast

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Fell Top Conditions on Wednesday 1 April

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 11:30

Temperature minus 1.7°C Maximum wind speed 54.5mph Wind chill minus 13.4°C Average wind speed 45.7mph Wind direction WSW - W

Fresh snow and hail has settled above 550m with a light dusting that was thawing below this height. This has been deposited on gale/storm force W winds; as such coverage varies from nothing on windswept areas - such as large parts of the summit plateau - to drifts over 5cm on east facing slopes with an average of 2cm at 900m. Above 750m, this fresh snow can lie above old, hard snow. The greatest accumulations of this old snow are similarly found on east and north facing aspects with drifts that are still deep enough in places to swallow the shaft of an ice axe. On areas where there is little snow above 800m, the ground is covered in ice and this combined with hail and spindrift driven in on a gale force and gusty wind made conditions demanding.

Exposed routes above 750m, such as Striding and Swirral Edges, require extreme care owing to the amount of ice, soft and hard snow. Swirral Edge in particular still holds a large amount of old snow, especially above 900m, that has hardened with the colder temperatures. The exits from both edges are guarded by banks of steep, deep, unavoidable, old snow and some ice. Therefore to safely negotiate such east facing slopes above 850m crampons and ice axe are still essential especially in descent and when, as today, there is a frost at altitude.

Cracks have appeared in the cornices that still exist above east and north facing slopes. Although the cornices are quite small, the drops from them are not so please keep well back from such edges.

Despite spring flowers everywhere in the valleys, winter conditions exist above 750m that walkers visiting the higher peaks must both expect and also be prepared for especially when there is a frost at altitude. The summit windchill was minus 13 degrees today, so full winter clothing and footwear remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the high fells. Goggles are also highly recommended owing to the amount of hail and spindrift being blown about. The fells do look magnificent in their winter coats, so come properly equipped and enjoy them!

Met Office forecast for Thursday

Issued 2 April at 00:07

A mainly dry day with some early frost likely in the valleys. High level cloud will spread in during the morning allowing only some temporary bright spells. A band of rain, this wintry over higher ground at first, spreading from the west through the evening.

0600 to 0900

Sunny intervals 0% chance of precipitation

0900 to 1200

Sunny intervals 0% chance of precipitation

1200 to 1500

Low-level cloud 0% chance of precipitation

1500 to 1800

Medium-level cloud 0% chance of precipitation

1800 to 2100

Medium-level cloud 80% chance of precipitation

2100 to 2400

Medium-level cloud 80% chance of precipitation

Visibility

Good, but falling moderate or poor at times in rain and very poor in any snow.

Hill fog

No hill fog expected during the day, but becoming persistent through the early evening at around 400m with patches down at 200m, especially along west facing slopes.

Wind at 500m

10-15mph around dawn, becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Becoming Southwesterly 20-25mph by the end of the day.

Temperatures

  • Valleys/low level: Minus 2 Celsius rising to Plus 8 Celsius dropping Plus 4 later.
  • At 900m: Minus 4 Celsius rising Plus 2 Celsius by the end of the day.
  • Freezing level: 200m at dawn, gradually rising to 700m during the day then above the summits in the evening.

Daylight

- from time.is

Hazards

Storm force winds

No risk

Gales

Low risk - Some stronger gusts are possible at first.

Severe chill effect

Low risk - Strong winds and low temperatures could lead to some chill especially at first

Persistent extensive hill fog

High risk - Hill fog becoming persistent early evening at around 400m with patches down at 200m

Thunderstorms

No risk

Heavy persistent rain

No risk

Strong sunlight

No risk

Blizzards

No risk

Heavy snow

No risk

Forecast for Friday

Cloudy with a band of rain slowly progressing east and perhaps turning heavy at times, before clearing from all areas by the afternoon. Cloud will persist for a time with only some brief bright spells developing early in the evening. Remaining largely dry but rather dull for the rest of the period.

Visibility

Moderate or poor, becoming good once rain has cleared.

Hill fog

Persistent around 500m with patches down at 200m, especially along west facing slopes clearing above the summits early in the evening with occasional patches at 700m later.

Wind at 500m

Southwesterly becoming Northwesterly 20-25mph, increasing 30-35mph gusts 45-50mph in the evening

Temperatures

  • Valleys/low level: Plus 4 Celsius rising Plus 10 Celsius in the afternoon, dropping Plus 3 Celsius later
  • At 900m: Around Plus 2 Celsius
  • Freezing level Above the summits dropping around 900m toward the end of the day

Outlook for next few days

Saturday

Fairly settled conditions, but quite a lot of cloud about, giving some drizzle patches over the highest peaks. Fresh northwesterly winds becoming moderate later. Freezing level rising around 900m soon rising above the summits.

Sunday

Remaining rather cloudy but largely dry , although the odd spot of rain from any thicker cloud cannot be ruled out. Moderate westerly or nortwesterly winds. Freezing level above summits.

Monday

Generally a good deal of cloud around but most areas remaining dry. Thicker cloud with outbreaks of light rain perhaps reaching the far north later in the day. Moderate westerly or northwesterly winds, freshening through the afternoon. Freezing level above the summits

Recent conditions

On 01 Apr 2015Click on photo to see full version

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