The Lake District weather forecast

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Fell Top Conditions on Thursday 18 December

Readings from Helvellyn Lower Man at 11:45

Temperature plus 6.2°C Maximum wind speed 58.4mph Wind chill minus 3.4°C Average wind speed W 39.7mph

Another wild and wet day today, with the thaw continuing right up to the fell tops. Heavy rain at all levels is making the becks very full, and the ground conditions soggy throughout. Visibility on Helvellyn today was around 100m generally, but reduced to around 10m in heavy rain and hill fog. With a cloud base of 350m, rising occasionally to 500m, views from the summits were non-existent. Winds of around 40mph gusting to 58mph from the W made walking difficult at times.

On the higher fell tops the snow continues to thaw, and in most places now only patches remain. The headwall on Helvellyn above Red Tarn still has a bank of snow, and some of the higher gullies on this east face have a thin ribbon of snow too, but this is now soft and very wet. One or two large patches of slushy ice also remain on the right of way across the summits. Most of this is nowhere deeper than 10cm, but there are a few old drifts that are as deep as 60cm.

With another wet and very windy day likely tomorrow, those heading for the fell tops are advised to carry full winter clothing and equipment. The ability to navigate accurately in poor visibility is also essential.

Met Office forecast for Friday

Issued 19 December at 03:50

Clear spells and scattered cloud for most, but the risk of showers remains throughout the day in all areas. Showers most likely in the north and west of the park, and could be heavy and thundery at times. The odd shower could be wintry to lower levels during Friday morning, but throughout the period falling as snow to around 400m with snow settling above 600m.

0600 to 0900

Light snow showers (night) 20% chance of precipitation

0900 to 1200

Medium-level cloud 20% chance of precipitation

1200 to 1500

Light snow showers 30% chance of precipitation

1500 to 1800

Light snow showers (night) 40% chance of precipitation

1800 to 2100

Heavy snow showers (night) 60% chance of precipitation

2100 to 2400

Light snow showers (night) 40% chance of precipitation


Generally good but moderate in rain showers and poor in snow showers.

Hill fog

Occasional hill fog above 700m, with occasional patches as low as 500m in showers.

Wind at 500m

Westerly 35-40mph gusting 55mph consistently and a risk of occasional gusts of 70mph on exposed summits and ridges.


  • Valleys/low level: Plus 7 Celsius
  • At 900m: Minus 1 Celsius
  • Freezing level: Around 700m.


- from


Storm force winds

Medium risk - Risk of occasional gusts of 70mph on exposed peaks or ridges later.


High risk - Gusts are expected to consistently gust around 50mph throughout the day.

Severe chill effect

High risk - Strong winds expected to combine with showers, giving a severe chill effect.

Persistent extensive hill fog

Medium risk - Patches down to 500m.


Low risk - Very low risk of thunder in any heavy showers.

Heavy persistent rain

Low risk - Rain expected to be showery, but a low risk of showers merging to give persistent rain/sleet.

Strong sunlight

No risk


Low risk - Where snowfall combines with strong winds, there is a risk of total disorientation.

Heavy snow

Low risk - Showers of snow are expected to cause some snow to settle above 500m.

Forecast for Saturday

Showery conditions to start, again wintry on the fells, becoming drier and brighter during the morning. A band of cloud will move in during the afternoon.


Generally good but moderate in rain showers or drizzle and poor in snow.

Hill fog

Occasional patches down to 500m in showers, becoming more persistent above 500m around dusk.

Wind at 500m

West or northwesterly 40-45mph with gusts up to 70mph through the morning, becoming southwesterly 20-25mph with gusts of 40mph by the evening .


  • Valleys/low level: Plus 7 Celsius.
  • At 900m: Minus 1 Celsius, rising to plus 2 Celsius in the evening.
  • Freezing level Around 700m, rising above the summits by midnight.

Outlook for next few days


Cloudy with persistent rain, turning heavier during the afternoon. Strong westerly winds with gales over the fells. Freezing level just above the summits.


Rain persisting, heavy at times, before slowly clearing during the evening. Strong or gale force southwesterly winds. Freezing level well above the summits.


A cloudy day with rain, heavy at times. This clearing later but followed by showers, possibly wintry over the fells. Moderate or strong southwesterly winds. Freezing level above the summits but dropping to around 700m during the day.

Recent conditions

On 18 Dec 2014Click on photo to see full version

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