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Fell Top Conditions on Wednesday 26 January

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 22:50

Temperature plus 1°C Maximum wind speed 39.8mph Wind chill minus 7.9°C Average wind speed 28.8mph Wind direction SW

A cloudy day in the Lakeland fells with little change in the conditions compared to yesterday other than being a bit milder.

The vast majority of the fells and paths are snow-free up to and including the highest summits and any remaining old snow / névé is generally (but not exclusively) found on steep north through east-facing aspects above 700m. In these locations cover is very patchy, however, some of the patches are still quite large. Small cornices are also present around corrie rims and should be given a wide berth.

The remaining snow is well consolidated and was generally weight-bearing today. An ice axe and crampons are essential for anyone venturing onto the snow on account of the steep ground that it is generally found on. A slip or trip in these conditions, if not quickly arrested could have serious consequences.

Striding and Swirral edge can be done almost entirely on rock, however, a steep bank of hard snow is present on their exit slopes and requires good care to cross safely.

Full winter clothing (warm and waterproof) including hats and gloves, a map and compass, and headtorch are all essential items for anyone venturing into the fells.

Lake District Forecast for Friday

Dry bright start but cloud soon increasing with outbreaks of rain, preceded briefly by summit snow, spreading east through the late morning. It remains cloudy through the afternoon and evening with further rain at times.

Visibility

Occasional cloud above 600m at dawn becoming periods or persistent cloud above 450-600m by midday, with patches below in west, cloud becoming more occasional at times over eastern fells. Otherwise visibility very good becoming rather hazy under the cloud and falling to several kilometres in rain and perhaps a kilometre in summit snow.

Chance of cloud free hill

Around 75% at first becoming close to zero in west, but nearer 25% in east, by late morning.

Wind

Westerly 15mph backing southwesterly 20-25mph through the morning then increasing 30mph, gusts around 50mph over ridges and summits, in the afternoon.

Temperatures

  • Valley: Around zero Celsius, especially in east, at dawn rising to plus 9 or 10 Celsius
  • At 800m: Around zero Celsius rising to plus 4 Celsius
  • Freezing level: 800m rising above the summits.

Outlook for next few days

Saturday 29 January

Occasionally heavy overnight rain soon clearing then mainly dry with sunny spells developing. Southwesterly then northwesterly gales easing. Freezing level falling to 600m.

Sunday 30 January

Potentially wet, with summit snow, and windy, then blustery wintry showers. Strengthening winds with northwesterly gales or severe gales later. Freezing level 600m rising above summits for a time.

Monday 31 January

Mainly dry bright start but becoming cloudy with rain, perhaps some summit snow, later. Westerly or northwesterly winds easing. Freezing level around 600m, rising above summits later.

An overview of weather in the Lake District

Summer:

The summer season in the Lake District actually runs from March to October. The driest period runs between March and June.

The weather is renowned for changing rapidly and rainfall is a predominant feature. The wettest area in the Lake District is known as Sprinkling Tarn which receives approximately 5000mm of rainfall every year!

Winter:

The wettest months run from October to January.

Snowfall typically falls from November to March. The valleys of the Lake District receive around 20 days of snow and 200 days of rain per year.

Enjoy the fells safely on a winter skills course