The Lake District weather forecast

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Fell Top Conditions on Saturday 28 February

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 11:45

Temperature plus 0.7°C Maximum wind speed 24.7mph Wind chill minus 7.4°C Average wind speed 19.5mph Wind direction SW

There is a daytime thaw at all levels – it was raining and just above zero on the summit at midday. The thaw is especially rapid below 700m whereas above this height the snowpack has also been softened. Below 550m the fells are almost free from snow. Between 550m and 750m the patches of snow that remain – which can be quite large and deep - lie in sheltered spots and on paths where it has been compacted – so it takes longer to thaw. There was also some ice on paths. Above 750m is a more consistent covering of snow although even at this altitude large areas of the fells, such as the majority of the summit plateau, are free from snow. The snowpack was generally soft and wet although there are also patches of harder snow especially above 900m. The greatest accumulations of snow remain on east and north facing aspects where drifts of over 60cm can be encountered. The summit plateau had large patches of ice.

There are small cornices above east and north facing slopes, so please keep well back from such edges.

There now exists a marked contrast between the green, Spring-like valleys and the winter conditions that still exist above 700m – the summit windchill was minus 7 today; so full winter clothing and footwear remain essential for those venturing out onto the high fells. For those attempting steep or exposed routes above the snowline an ice axe and crampons also remain essential together with winter mountaineering experience. Striding Edge had everything from wet rock to soft and hard snow and isolated patches of verglas (ice) on rocks. Swirral Edge still has a substantial covering of snow and both it and Striding Edge’s exit onto the summit plateau are guarded by banks of steep, deep, hard unavoidable snow where a slip can be fatal – as has regretfully been the case this year. In addition, the ability to navigate accurately in winter conditions is also crucial.

Met Office forecast for Sunday

Issued 28 February at 15:59

Rain or light drizzle through the early hours, persisting until late afternoon in the east, falling as snow over 400m. Becoming dry through the afternoon and will be mainly dry through the evening, just a few scattered sleet showers.

0000 to 0300

Light rain 30-50% chance of precipitation

0300 to 0600

Light rain 50-70% chance of precipitation

0600 to 0900

Light rain 30-50% chance of precipitation

0900 to 1200

Light rain 10-30% chance of precipitation

1200 to 1500

Medium-level cloud 10% chance of precipitation

1500 to 1800

Medium-level cloud 0% chance of precipitation

1800 to 2100

Medium-level cloud 10% chance of precipitation

2100 to 2400

Sleet shower (night) 10-30% chance of precipitation

Visibility

Moderate to start but poor in snow. Becoming generally good or very good in the evening, temporarily poor in any sleet showers.

Hill fog

Patches of fog down to 500m through the morning. Fog will rise through the afternoon to leave fells fog free through the evening and night.

Wind at 500m

Southwesterly gale force, 40-50mph, with gusts of 55-70mph likely over summit tops mainly through the morning. Gale force winds persisting throughout the afternoon and evening, although easing slightly. Decreasing to 25-30mph, with gusts of 40mph by midnight.

Temperatures

  • Valleys/low level: Plus 4 Celsius rising to a maximum of plus 7 Celsius and falling to plus 1 Celsius by night.
  • At 900m: Around minus 3 Celsius.
  • Freezing level: Freezing level at 800m at first, falling to around 400m by evening.

Daylight

- from time.is

Hazards

Storm force winds

Medium risk - Gusts of 70mph are possible over the highest peaks, especially through the early hours.

Gales

High risk - Gales throughout most of the day with a high risk of losing ones footing.

Severe chill effect

High risk - Strong winds and rain will cause additional chill.

Persistent extensive hill fog

Medium risk - Patches of hill fog to 500m in the morning.

Thunderstorms

No risk

Heavy persistent rain

No risk

Strong sunlight

No risk

Blizzards

Low risk - Gale force winds and falling snow could cause disorientation during the early hours.

Heavy snow

No risk

Forecast for Monday

Clear spells and wintry showers through the morning, falling as snow above 400m at first and sleet to valley floors. By afternoon, it should be generally dry across the park with just a few isolated showers through the rest of the day.

Visibility

Generally very good, or excellent in the afternoon, but poor or very poor in sleet and snow showers.

Hill fog

Patches of hill fog throughout the morning to around 500m. Many fells will be fog free through the afternoon and evening, fog persisting longer across western fells.

Wind at 500m

Strong southwesterly winds 30-35mph, with gusts 45mph, increasing to westerly gale force 40-50mph with gusts of 60mph over the summits and ridges.

Temperatures

  • Valleys/low level: Plus 2 Celsius rising to plus 5 Celsius and falling to plus 2 Celsius again.
  • At 900m: Around minus 5 Celsius.
  • Freezing level 400m through the early hours but falling through the morning to valley level.

Outlook for next few days

Tuesday

Scattered wintry showers through the day, snow at higher levels. Becoming drier towards midnight. Strong to gale force westerly or southwesterly winds. Freezing level down to the valley floors, rising to 400m during the day.

Wednesday

Dry with some clear and sunny spells developing later in the afternoon. However, an isolated sleet shower through the early morning cannot be ruled out. Strong westerly winds, becoming moderate northwesterly later. Freezing level around 400m, but patches down to 200m in the east during the evening.

Thursday

Dry and clear through the early morning, but cloud and rain pushing in from the west through the afternoon. Freezing level sown to valley floors in the east during the morning, but otherwise around 400m. Light and variable winds.

Recent conditions

On 28 Feb 2015Click on photo to see full version

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