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End of May Bank Holiday - West is Best for weather!

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
21.38hrs Friday 27th May 2016.
SUMMER SOLSTICE SLIDE - With the Solstice falling on Monday 20th June, join us for a mid-summer slide at Glencoe on Saturday 18th June. Cliffhanger Chairlift will run to ease access to remaining snow patches on the upper mountain.

With the wind coming from the Easterly quadrant the brightest overhead and warmest temperatures are expected to be towards the West Highlands for the end of May Bank Holiday weekend. Though there is an outside risk of some heavy convective showers bubbling up just about anywhere, though the majority of places should stay dry.

With just a week to go until the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Nevis Range, the SDA are racing at Glencoe this weekend, so a chance to watch some downhill mountain bike action (and still time to enter as there will be on the day entries accepted). Also on two wheels the three day 5 Pistes tour of the Highlands which incorporates the 3 Pistes Cycle Sportive begins on Saturday morning at Glencoe and will finish back at Glencoe on Monday afternoon!

On Sunday the 3 Pistes Sportive itself takes in Glenshee, the Lecht before finishing with a leg burning final ascent to the Daylodge on CairnGorm Mountain at just over 2000ft.

With the SDA race the Glencoe bike tracks are closed to the public this weekend, but both the red and black track are scheduled to be open to the public on Bank Holiday Monday, note the Nevis World Cup downhill closes for World Cup preparation after Sunday. There is also summer tubing on the dry slope at the base through the weekend at Glencoe.

For those not yet willing to put the skis and boards away, there is still snow to be found for those willing to hike. At Glencoe the Main Basin remains complete and has offered up some lovely granular spring snow, the bulk of the Spring Run is still skiable and it?s had the best reviews this past week. Even Radio Gully has seen some action off the East Ridge.

At Nevis the upper Goose also has a decent length snow field remaining, though it?s a slightly longer walk to the snowline.

Due to the UCI World Cup the Nevis Downhill will be closed from Monday 30th, the Red Route will be open till Wednesday.

Weather permitting the Access Chair at Glencoe and Gondola at Nevis are open daily, though the Nevis Range gondola will be only accessible to World Cup ticket holders during the UCI Mountain BIke World Cup.

:: Summer Solstice Slide
With the Solstice falling on Monday 20th June, it is planned to hold a mid-summer slide at Glencoe on Saturday 18th June, with Sunday as a bad weather alternative. The Cliffhanger Chairlift will run to ease access to remaining snow patches on the upper mountain for around 30-45 minutes mid-morning, probably from around 10.30am but details to be confirmed. Usually plenty of time for a bacon roll first!

Last year there were around 100 skiers and boarders up for some summer turns, lets see if we can beat that number this year!

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
With the wind out of an Easterly quadrant though it should be largely dry the best of the brightness is expected to be towards the West Highlands and that?s where the warmest temperatures are likely to be found. Generally light winds through the weekend and Bank Holiday Monday. Near the West Coast in Sunny Spells Munro Level temperatures expected to reach 13°c on Monday.

Over the weekend most areas should stay dry, but there is the potential for some convective showers to bubble up and these could be pretty heavy where they do occur with a risk of thunder. Low cloud coming in of the North Sea will always be a risk further East, inversion conditions may well set up with highest tops above the cloud though.

With Northern Blocking once again taking hold to the North, we will see a low pressure move West across Northern England / Southern Scotland on Tuesday, the exact detail and track of this remains uncertain but there is potential for heavy rainfall to the North of the low centre ( frontal systems will be to the North as the low is moving towards the West) particularly in the East Highlands. The Southern Cairngorms looking like getting the heaviest off it at present. Wind will strengthen either late Monday or overnight in the early part of Tuesday with gusts upwards of 60mph possible at Munro Level.

After the frontal systems clear through warmer air will pump round the low pressure and with a fohn effect kicking we could see Munro Level temperatures nudge the mid teens in the West Highlands on Wednesday and Thursday.

Very early indications show Northern Blocking building a ridge South over Highland Scotland to end the week, so we could be inline for a burst of Summer for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Nevis Range, with the West continuing to enjoy the best conditions with a light Easterly flow prevailing.

Our 5 day summary forecasts will be updated prior to the weekend over the next few weeks, then daily updates will resume for the school holidays. Glencoe and Nevis Range update their reports daily throughout the summer, check for the latest bike track, weather and lift status.

Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.

:: NEW Winterhighland Android App
Optimised for speedy access to the essential information from Scotland's five snowsports areas on even the slowest mobile connections our new Android app is the easiest way to keep tabs with what's happening on the move and now includes Lowther Hills Ski Club.

:: Webcams and Weather Stations
CAIRNGORM: SSC and Loch Morlich webcams are online.

AVIEMORE: Aviemore, Inverdruie and Loch Morlich cams online.

GLENCOE: Mountain webcams are online. Trial Coire Pollach Cam is now offline and a permanent camera will be installed for Old Mugs Alley during the Summer.

NEVIS: Goose Cameras online at present, but they along with the Braveheart camera will only be intermittently available outwith the snowsports season due to summer maintenance work on the mountain .

:: Scottish Snowsport Areas: Snowphones & Websites
Glencoe: 01855 851226
Nevis Range: 01397 705825 www.nevisrange.co.uk
Lecht: 01975 651440 www.lecht.co.uk
CairnGorm: 01479 861261 www.cairngormmountain.co.uk
Glenshee: 013397 41320 www.ski-glenshee.co.uk
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Northern Cairngorms Outlook
Saturday 28th May
FL: >Tops.  Part Cloudy
914m: 7°c SE 15 gust 30mph
Sunday 29th May
FL: >Tops.  Overcast
914m: 8°c East 10-15mph
  20.47hrs Fri 27th May
West Highlands Outlook
Saturday 28th May
FL: >Tops.  Part Cloudy
914m: 9°c East 10-20mph
Sunday 29th May
FL: >Tops.  Sunny
914m: 12°c Little or No Wind.
  20.47hrs Fri 27th May
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Saturday 28th May
FL: >Tops.  Inversion
914m: 6°c SE 15 gust 25mph
Sunday 29th May
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 8°c East 10-15mph
  20.48hrs Fri 27th May
Glencoe // Sat 18th Jun
Preparing for a mass descent of the Main Basin.
Glencoe // Sun 29th May
Launch into Summer... Red & Black bike tracks reopen after the SDA race weekend on Monday morning.
Glencoe // Tue 10th May
Heading into the Canyon. Despite the heat fantastic granular Spring Snow.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sun 8th May
Summer in Scotland is great, this year it was on a Sunday.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sat 7th May
Sunday is closing day on CairnGorm - get up for one last lift served slide to round of the 2016 Season.
Glencoe // Sat 7th May
Macavalanche mass start mountain bike race took place on Sat afternoon. Still plenty for tourers / hikers to get turns in on the upper & mid mountain.
Glencoe // Sun 1st May
Main Basin with deepest cover of the season.
CairnGorm Mtn // Sat 30th Apr
Spectacular day to end April on the 'Gorm.