The Lake District weather forecast

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Fell Top Conditions on Saturday 20 December

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 12:30

Temperature plus 0.1°C Maximum wind speed 39.2mph Wind chill minus 9.4°C Average wind speed WNW 30.2mph

The slow thaw continues - it was zero degrees on the summit. There is now little snow on paths below 850m and what does remain is avoidable. Above 850m snow coverage depends on aspect with little, if any, on slopes subject to strong westerly winds. Conversely in sheltered hollows and on east facing slopes there are drifts of mainly soft snow up to 60cm although such depth is the exception. The summit plateau was covered in verglas (thin ice) making walking demanding in the strong winds.

Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for those venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep east facing slopes an ice axe is recommended; for some routes it is essential. For example the exit to Striding Edge retains a steep patch of unavoidable snow; should this snow freeze then crampons would also be useful.

Met Office forecast for Sunday

Issued 20 December at 17:38

Cloud will spread in from the west overnight and persist, leading to a rather dull day for many, especially western fells. This cloud will then develop patches of rain across the fells throughout the day. However most of the rain is expected to be light or drizzly, at least until the evening when it will likely become heavier and more persistent across the park.

0000 to 0300

Medium-level cloud 20% chance of precipitation

0300 to 0600

Medium-level cloud 30% chance of precipitation

0600 to 0900

Light rain 40% chance of precipitation

0900 to 1200

Light rain 60% chance of precipitation

1200 to 1500

Light rain 60% chance of precipitation

1500 to 1800

Light rain 60% chance of precipitation

1800 to 2100

Heavy Rain 60% chance of precipitation

2100 to 2400

Heavy Rain 70% chance of precipitation


Generally good but moderate to poor in rain and drizzle.

Hill fog

Occasional down to 700m becoming persistent down to 500m during the early hours of the morning. Hill fog will then persist down to 500m for most areas for the rest of the day, with occasional patches down to 200m, especially over southern western fells.

Wind at 500m

Westerly 35-40mph gusting up to 60mph, becoming southwesterly 50-55mph gusting 70-75mph during the morning.


  • Valleys/low level: Plus 4 Celsius rising to plus 12 Celsius before falling down to plus 6 Celsius in the evening.
  • At 900m: Plus 1 Celsius increasing to plus 5 Celsius by the evening.
  • Freezing level: Above the summits.


- from


Storm force winds

Medium risk - Gusts of 70-75mph are expected from mid-morning onwards, giving a risk of losing footing.


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

Severe chill effect

Medium risk - Strong winds in combination with rain and low temperatures will give a chill effect.

Persistent extensive hill fog

High risk - Persistent down to 500m for most fells, especially in the west, throughout the day.


No risk

Heavy persistent rain

Medium risk - Patches of rain will persist throughout most of the day, especially during the evening.

Strong sunlight

No risk


No risk

Heavy snow

No risk

Forecast for Monday

Generally another wet and cloudy day. Rain will persist across the park for most of the day and is likely to be heavy at times causing surfaces to become slippery. Strong storm force winds will ease during the day though.


Generally good but moderate to poor in rain.

Hill fog

Persist down to 500m, especially over western fells, with patches down to 200m.

Wind at 500m

Southwesterly 50-55mph gusting 70-75mph becoming westerly during the morning and gradually easing down to 30-35mph gusting 45-50mph by the evening.


  • Valleys/low level: Plus 5 Celsius rising to plus 12 Celsius before falling to plus 5 Celsius in the evening.
  • At 900m: Around plus 4 Celsius.
  • Freezing level Above the summits.

Outlook for next few days


A cloudy day with showers, possibly wintry over the fells. Moderate or strong southwesterly winds. Freezing level above the summits but dropping to around 700m during the day.


Generally a fine and dry day with a few showers, which will likely be wintry over the fells. Moderate to strong westerly winds becoming light northerly. Freezing level around 700m.


There may be a frost to start but this should soon clear to leave another mostly fine and dry day, with perhaps an odd wintry shower over the fells. Light westerly winds becoming northwesterly. Freezing level lowering to down 500m.

Recent conditions

On 20 Dec 2014Click on photo to see full version

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