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Fell Top Conditions on Saturday 16 February

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 13:30

Temperature plus 2.2°C Maximum wind speed 46.9mph Wind chill minus 6.7°C Average wind speed 33.7mph Wind direction SW

The thaw across the Lake District fells continues with the freezing level above the summits again today.

Between 750m and 850m only patches of soft snow remain which are found in sheltered spots and hollows and are easily avoidable. Above 850m, the frequency and depth of such snow patches increases with altitude although large areas of the fells up to, and including, summit level are now free from snow. The majority of the remaining snow lies on E and N facing slopes and in sheltered gullies.

Striding Edge is now clear of winter conditions apart from a 5m section of snow at the top of the headwall. In the soft snow conditions experienced today this was passable with care without an ice axe and crampons. Swirral Edge still has a significant amount of snow cover, much of which has been compacted by walkers feet and would have been tricky today without the correct equipment. Please note a small drop in summit temperatures will quickly freeze the remaining snow pack hard giving very serious and icy conditions on which an ice axe and crampons will be essential - even if for only a very short section of your day.

The summit plateau is now clear of snow, however there are still significant cornices above the east face of Helvellyn. During thaw conditions these are very unstable so please give them a wide berth and advise others with less experience to do likewise.

Despite the spring like conditions in the valleys, the summit windchill remains well below zero, so full winter clothing (waterproofs, plenty of warm layers, hat & gloves), footwear and equipment (map, compass & a headtorch) are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells.

Climbers - There are currently no winter climbing conditions in the Lake District

Lake District Forecast for Monday

Mainly cloudy with rain at times and some heavy rain likely with snow on the summits, though a drier and brighter spell in the afternoon, with perhaps some sunshine, especially over eastern fells.


Good beneath the cloud but occasionally poor in rain

Hill cloud

30% with cloud down to 600 or 700m, but 50% in the afternoon with cloud more broken for a time


Southwesterly 35 gusts 50mph, but westerly 25 gusts 35mph later


  • Valley: Plus 6 rising to plus 11 Celsius
  • At 800m: Plus 3 Celsius
  • Freezing level: 900m

Outlook for next few days

Tuesday 19 February

Mainly dry in daylight hours, but cloudy with some hill fog onto western slopes and occasionally heavy rain and summit snow in the evening. Gale force southwesterly winds over the summits. Freezing level just above the tops.

Wednesday 20 February

Mostly cloudy with rain at times, but drier and brighter through the afternoon. Southwesterly winds gradually easing. Freezing level above summits

Thursday 21 February

Mostly cloudy with occasional rain or drizzle but becoming drier and brighter through the afternoon. Strong southwesterly winds but still mild.

An overview to the weather in the Lake District


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!


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.

Winter is actually a beautiful time of year to enjoy the spectacular views.

It’s important to stay safe during the Winter period, especially if you are considering exploring the fells. If you’re a fan of the Lake District in Winter, why not register on one of our Winter Skills Courses? Learn more