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Fell Top Conditions on Thursday 21 February

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 12:15

Temperature plus 4.4°C Maximum wind speed 36.1mph Wind chill minus 3.8°C Average wind speed 27.6mph Wind direction SW

The good news, for those who dislike winter conditions, is that little snow now remains on the Lakeland Fells. The bad news, for those of us who cherish winter wonderlands, is that little snow remains on the Lakeland fells. Following Wednesday’s rain and mild temperatures, there’s now little snow left below 900m; that which does lies in isolated patches in sheltered spots and hollows. The majority of the remaining old snow lies above 900m on steep E and N facing slopes. Indeed, on Helvellyn the entire west side of the mountain right up to, and including, summit level is free from snow.

On the eastern side, Striding Edge is now virtually snow free with the main route completely free from snow. Conversely, there is still some unavoidable snow at the top of Swirral Edge’s exit. Although this has thawed over the past 24 hours, it is still quite deep but has also narrowed considerably allowing some, but not all, of it to be avoided by scrambling over rock. There are deep steps cut into this remaining snow, but the passage of hundreds of boots have compacted the snow making it slippery. As such, although it’s only for a very short section, an ice axe is recommended for anyone tackling Swirral Edge – especially in descent. Owing to this snow being compacted, its height, depth and east facing nature, it may well be the last snow to thaw in the Lakes.

Despite daffodils appearing in the valleys, the summit windchill remains well below freezing – minus 4 degrees at midday - so full winter clothing (waterproofs, plenty of warm layers, hat & gloves), footwear and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells as folk only wearing shorts and not carrying windproofs today soon discovered! Others had left without maps and compasses and the assessor was asked several times where people were!! With the low cloud today, visibility was reduced to only 30m at times so good navigational skills are essential to avoid “winging it” and hoping that you’ll bump into someone who knows where they are! Hopefully, though, sunglasses will also be essential tomorrow!

Lake District Forecast for Friday

Mainly dry with clear or sunny spells, the best of these across more northern and eastern fells. Cloud may thicken enough over western and southern fells to give a few spots of drizzle during the morning.

Visibility

Good or very good falling to just a few kilometres in any drizzle.

Hill cloud

Around 40% across southern and western at first with periods around 600m at times, otherwise 90% with little or no cloud below summit level.

Wind

Southerly around 25mph, with gusts around 45mph over ridges and summits.

Temperatures

  • Valley: Around plus 8 Celsius at dawn rising to plus 13 Celsius, especially away from the coast.
  • At 800m: Around plus 7 Celsius
  • Freezing level: Above the summits.

Outlook for next few days

Saturday 23 February

Dry through daylight hours with long sunny spells but increasing cloud may bring patchy evening rain. Strong southerly winds easing. Freezing levels above summits.

Sunday 24 February

Rather cloudy start with patchy rain but sunny spells developing. Mainly light southerly or southeasterly winds. Freezing level above summits.

Monday 25 February

Dry with sunny spells. Mainly light southerly winds. Freezing level above summits.



An overview to the 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.

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