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More hill snow overnight, but will it stick with Storm Force winds!

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
18.52hrs Tuesday 31st January 2023.
Storm Force winds overnight with a period of heavy hill snow, particularly in the West. Possibly an opportunity to grab some freshies Wednesday afternoon, before rain pushes in Wednesday evening!

Watch official reports, webcams, Facebook like a hawk in the morning, there will only be a few hours window at best!

A cold and stormy Tuesday saw heavy snow showers rattle in from the North West and the total sum of uplift across the whole of Scotland was the Dink Dink, Rope Tow and Plastic Slope Poma at the roadside at Glenshee due to the high winds.

The hill snow is forecast to intensify overnight, particularly in the West, though whether much of the snow sticks remains to be seen in what is expected to be ferocious winds through the night through to and probably beyond dawn on Wednesday. However, nothing is very certain with this still developing storm system as indicated by the 4°c spread in the GFS ensemble 850hpa temperatures for 6z on Wednesday at Fort William!

Snow totals tonight in the West at Glencoe range from around 8cm to above 20cm in various forecast models, which indicates how hit and miss it can be depending on whether any given location gets stuck in a stream of showers!

The trend though is for the storm to peak a bit quicker now and there is at least a possibility of lift served riding at Glencoe on Wednesday afternoon as a wedge of notably lighter winds digs gradually South Eastwards. However, it is unlikely that uplift could open before lunchtime, so keep an eye on how things are developing on Wednesday morning. Obviously once the worst of the overnight Storm Force winds ease the mountain will need to be assessed and there could be quite a bit of storm recovery work needed.

That said with Nevis shut on Wednesdays for snowsports, the West set to get the most snow tonight and the wind moderating first in the West, then Wednesday afternoon at Glencoe may well be the only shot at getting to play in the new snow! As unfortunately the freezing level is set to go above the summits after dusk on Wednesday, heralding a soggy and wild Thursday.

Glenshee wind wise will probably be able to open the roadside lifts in the morning, the question mark there will be the A93 and what level snow falls to and extent of overnight drifting. Be sure to check out the [url=https: //www.snowgatecameras.co.uk/]snowgate webcams . As the day progresses more uplift should be able to open road permitting and there has been some decent drifted accumulations along the North / South fences in the Burcharts area that should bash out to give good turns.

The Lecht is also due to reopen on Wednesday after its start of week break and while there has not been that much new snow the runs do look to have caught some between the fences which will have freshened things up.

On CairnGorm the snowgates were closed due to severe drifting giving appalling visibility in the frequent snow showers, but the extent or otherwise to which anything is sticking anywhere useful will need to be checked out when things ease up. It is unlikely even the funicular will be able to run early Wednesday as the high winds are set to persist the longest in the Northern Cairngorms.

:: Club Fields
There will be no further lift served skiing at any of the English club fields until new snow arrives.

Please check club access rules / availability if not a club member / pass holder.

Weardale: https: //skiweardale.com/ .
Allenheads:
http://ski-allenheads.co.uk/ .
Yad Moss: https: //yadmoss.co.uk/ .
Raise: https: //www.ldscsnowski.co.uk/ .

Sadly, the news from Lowther Hill is not good and the ski club facilities will not operate this season. However fairly extensive snowfencing is now in place from the club hut up to just short of the summit, and this should give more opportunity for touring / hiking for turns.
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:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
At 6pm in the West at Glencoe it was -2.5°c at 3600ft, at 5.30pm the Westerly wind was at a mean of 58 gusting 72mph. Unfortunately anemometer icing has overcome the anemometer heating since then, though the wind may shake this free later tonight!

At Glenshee it was -2.1°c at the Cairnwell summit at 6pm. The wind at 1245m / 4084ft on CairnGorm peaked at a Hurricane Force 12 at 75mph gusting 101mph at 1pm, this evening anemometer icing is suspected as several hourly readings with same speeds have come through the data feed! (The Met Office weather stations at the Cairnwell is not reporting wind and CairnGorm is not reporting temperature at this time).

Overnight into Wednesday morning severe Storm conditions are expected across the mountains with Violent Storm or Hurricane Force winds widespread through the early hours of Wednesday, before starting to moderate from the NW post dawn. There should be some significant new snowfall overnight, but the extent to which it sticks anywhere useful remains to be seen given the strength of the wind and the fact above the lowest slopes the snow will be fairly dry and powdery.

Showers will ease in intensity and frequency through Wednesday morning with some bright or sunny spells developing. A wedge of moderate winds will slowly dig in, bringing a short respite from the strong winds, before frontal precipitation brings a period of hill snow later Wednesday afternoon. However as winds ratchet up once more by or soon after dusk, the freezing level will begin to climb.

By early afternoon the wind should have moderated markedly in the West to be around 20 gusting 30mph at the top of the Access Chair at Glencoe. Keep an eye on how things are developing through the morning on the official report, webcams and Facebook pages as this could be a 3 to 4 hour wind for playing in the freshies before the rain arrives overnight!

There should be a period of pretty heavy but wet sticky snow, however whether we see any net gain from this is uncertain as a stormy day with fairly persistent rain for the West with the freezing level well above the summits is expected on Thursday.

Thursday looks like another day of Gales or Severe Gales, rain will be fairly heavy and persistent in the West Highlands, becoming gradually more showery in nature towards the SE Cairngorms. Glenshee likely to have the least bad day. Munro Level temperature will be around +4 to +5°c with the freezing level well above the summits.

Progressively during Friday into Saturday high pressure is set to try and ridge Northwards, the extent of this ridging progress remains uncertain and there is a risk of a couple of days of fairly strong winds funnelled between high pressure over SE England and low pressure to the North of Scotland.

At this stage Sunday looks the best day, but given the uncertainty in the nowcasting range, this could change, but though the freezing level looks to remain around the tops, drier air and lighter winds should dry out and crunch up the snow into more spring like conditions that could make for a decent day.

:: Webcams and Weather Stations
Lowther Hill: Leadhills village camera at the Hopetoun Arms is online.

CAIRNGORM: Loch Morlich webcam is now hosted on a streaming service, please visit
www.lochmorlich.com .

GLENCOE: Summit, base and zoom views from the top of the Access Chair online. Sledge Park camera and Old Mugs Alley cams now reconnected to the outside world. Mid mountain temperature is not reporting because of a sensor problem.
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Northern Cairngorms Outlook
whiteout.png
Wednesday 1st February
FL: >Tops.  WhiteOut
914m: 2°c WNW 50 gust 80mph
rain-showers.png
Thursday 2nd February
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 4°c WSW 50 gust 75mph
More... 
  17.58hrs Tue 31st Jan
West Highlands Outlook
sun-snow-showers.png
Wednesday 1st February
FL: 2000ft.  Snow Showers
914m: -2°c WNW 40 gust 60mph
rain.png
Thursday 2nd February
FL: >Tops.  Rain
914m: 5°c SW 40 gust 60mph
More... 
  17.57hrs Tue 31st Jan
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
part-sun-part-cloud.png
Wednesday 1st February
FL: 2000ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: -2°c WNW 30 gust 50mph
sun-rain-showers.png
Thursday 2nd February
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 5°c WSW 30 gust 50mph
More... 
  17.59hrs Tue 31st Jan


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