Fell Top Conditions on Friday 1 December
Readings from Helvellyn summit at 10:02
Temperature plus 0.5°C Maximum wind speed 4.3mph Wind chill plus 0.5°C Average wind speed 1.8mph Wind direction E
Welcome back to our first fell top conditions report of the 2023/24 and what an amazing day to start the forthcoming winter season!
A beautiful blue sky day in Lakeland fells with plenty of low winter sunshine and very light winds.
A temperature inversion meant that colder air was present in the valley bottoms today and it became warmer with height (-7ºC in Swirls carpark compared to a summit temperature just above freezing point).
The Lakeland fells have a very light and cosmetic dusting of snow which has accumulated to roughly ankle depth in small drifts above 850m, however, the majority of the white stuff is rime ice rather than snow.
With subzero temperatures down to low elevations there is ice present on and adjacent to many paths, particularly around any drainage lines.
With low pressure sitting over the Irish sea, there may be some additional snow over the weekend with the potential for significantly reduced visibility in any snow showers. The very cold and dry ground conditions mean that paths may become covered in snow quickly and difficult to follow.
Anyone heading out into the higher fells should expect challenging conditions and be suitably equipped.
Warm and waterproof clothing (plus spare warm layers), hats and gloves, a map, compass, and headtorch are all essential.
Goggles may also be very useful for navigation in challenging conditions. Microspikes are very useful in the current conditions, and with any additional snow accumulations, crampons and an ice axe may be required on any steep and exposed routes.
Lake District weather forecast for Saturday 2 December
Issued: 1 December at 17:28
Mainly sunny in north and east. Snow showers in south and west
Lake District Weather
Dry and clear through the early hours, although cloud in western parts increasing towards dawn, with a widespread frost and low level freezing fog patches. Then a bright day with, especially in the north and east, long sunny spells with freezing fog patches slowly clearing, however western and southern fells will become cloudier through the morning with snow showers developing. The showers largely die out through the evening to leave clear spells.
Little or no cloud below the summits at first, and more generally across northern and eastern fells, but occasional or periods of cloud developing above about 600m across southern and western fells through the morning. Away from cloud visibility very good with, especially for northern and eastern fells, some decent panoramic views of surrounding fells and lakes, falling to around a kilometre in snow showers and just a few hundred metres in any low level freezing fog.
Chance of Cloud Free Hill Top
Around 90% in north and east but becoming 40% in south and west through the morning.
|Time||00:00 - 03:00||03:00 - 06:00||06:00 - 09:00||09:00 - 12:00||12:00 - 15:00||15:00 - 18:00|
|Chance of precipitation||<05%||<05%||<05%||20%||30%||30%|
|Max gusts (mph)||8||9||11||13||13||11|
|Max gusts (mph)||8||9||10||11||13||11|
|Max gusts (mph)||11||13||15||18||20||14|
|Max gusts (mph)||11||12||15||19||22||17|
Lake District Forecast for Sunday
A few snow showers continue across western fells through the early hours and at first on Sunday, otherwise a dry and bright day with some sunny spells.
Occasional or periods of cloud above 600-750m. Away from cloud, visibility mainly very good.
Chance of cloud free hill
Easterly or southeasterly around 10mph, increasing a little through the evening.
- Valley: Around minus 3 or 4 Celsius at dawn rising to plus 3 or 4 Celsius by day
- At 800m: Around minus 4 Celsius
- Freezing level: 300m or less.
Outlook for next few days
Monday 04 December
A rather cloudy day with occasional, mainly light, snow, falling increasingly as rain below about 450m. Occasionally strong northeasterly winds. Freezing level rising to 600m.
Tuesday 05 December
Rather cloudy with patchy light rain, sleet and snow but brighter in afternoon. Northeasterly winds easing. Freezing level around 600m falling to 300m or less in afternoon.
Wednesday 06 December
Rain, preceded by snow, expected to spread east through morning, becoming heavy and persistent at times. Strengthening southerly or southeasterly winds. Freezing levels gradually rising above summits.
An overview of 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.