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Snow from Occlusion likely Thursday, set to stay cool to cold for Highland Scotland into Feb.

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
18.21hrs Wednesday 27th January 2021.

Following the Scottish Government moving mainland Scotland from Level 4 restrictions to a Stay at Home Lockdown on Tue 5th January, all uplift operations remain suspended until further notice.

Under the Covid Protection tiers introduced in the autumn, uplift is permitted up to and including Level 4 - Lockdown, but not under the tighter Stay at Home restrictions currently in place. Please adhere to current travel regulations and if permitted to travel to the snowsports centres for touring, walking or sledging, please keep in mind that there are no facilities available and roads where open may not be cleared or gritted. The Glenmore Snowgates remain closed on the CairnGorm Ski Road.

All five of the snowsports areas now have significant snow cover across all lift served aspects, while the most extensive and deepest cover is in the Northern Cairngorms the most recent fresh snow has been in the West Highlands with around 15-20cm over the past couple of days at Glencoe.

However there appears to have been a mix of snow and drizzle at all levels for a time overnight in the West, snowpack was wet and sticky to the summit of Meall a' Bhuiridh on Wednesday morning though this started to develop a crust during the afternoon as the air temperature fell back at all levels. SAIS reported pretty nasty ski conditions on Aonach Mor with a thin breakable crust at all levels of the ski area.

In the East it stayed colder overnight with the temperature peaking at -3°c on the summit of CairnGorm and the temperature at Aviemore remaining at or below freezing until late morning on Wednesday.

A warm front and occlusion will merge together early Thursday and push into the colder air from the SW during Thursday morning, however the extent of snowfall even in the West Highlands is uncertain and it will be a sharp dividing line between snow at almost all levels and rain at all levels. There is significant uncertainty as to potential snowfall totals, ranging from a couple of cm to upwards of 20cm for the Western Areas. A Met Office yellow warning is in place with up to 20cm possible in parts of the warning area above 200m.

At Glencoe it is currently possible to skin up the haul road with skis on from the Carpark, but cover is thin low down so while it is possible to ski to the base via the Red Access Run fence it is quite combat.

The Lecht has the most extensive snow and though not a huge amount of drifting, the depth of accumulated snow means the fences are beginning to disappear on the main side of the road.

:: LEVEL 4 Travel Restrictions
While all of mainland Scotland Is now in full Lockdown, the level 4 travel regulations remain in force. Ideally if you can tour closer to home, then you should do so, but legally you can only access the snowsports area bases for mountain activities from the following local authorities.

The Lecht: Aberdeenshire, Moray.

Glenshee: Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross.

Glencoe: Highland, Argyll & Bute.

Nevis Range: Highland.

Please be aware that no open facilities are available on site at any of the snowsports areas and the CairnGorm ski road is closed so there is no public vehicular access above the Hayfield at Glenmore.

:: Club Fields
All the Northern England Club Fields are now closed following the introduction of the third national English lockdown. Travel restrictions are currently tighter than in Scotland and you are asked not to visit Yad Moss or Weardale at this time.

Lowther Hills Ski Club is currently under the mainland Scotland Stay at Home Lockdown - thus uplift is not possible until the club returns to at least Level 4 lockdown restrictions or lower.

Please check all club fields access T&Cs as day tickets are not always available, some are members only due to insurance conditions and there are changes to usual ticket / access arrangements due to coronavirus. Reciprocal agreements on discounted day tickets between clubs have been suspended for this season.

Find out more: 01228 561634 0191 5974 174 01388 317767

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
A strong E to SE wind will lead to significant drifting of any new snow in the West and existing loose and any new snow in the East on Thursday, gusts of 50mph possible at times though speeds may fluctuate through the day but are likely to be strongest near to or in any heavier precipitation.

A warm front and following occlusion will be closely spaced and will sit across South West Scotland and trail up the West Coast around dawn, the occlusion pushing NE and occluding out the remaining warm sector by lunchtime. This will leave a fairly sharp divide between freezing at glen level to freezing level above the height of the highest summits, though the mesoscale models do keep the West Coast snowsports areas in the cooler air, it is likely there will be relatively little change in temperature at height for at least part of the day.

Just how much precipitation will come from the front also remains uncertain, the potential for snow ranging from a cm or two to 20cm plus for any given location! Winds will be cyclonically variable in the West and variable in speed, but periods of gusts to 50mph possible. In the East Highlands an ESE to SE wind likely, strongest on Northern downslopes around the Cairngorm Plateaux. Minus 2 to -4°c at Munro Level, generally higher towards the West Coast and a chance the FL could go above the tops for a time near the West Coast but with little change in temperature with elevation.

Friday will see a mixture of some brighter spells towards the SW Highlands and snow showers coming in from the North East, wind NNE in the Northern Cairngorms to ENE in the West Highlands. Generally 15 gusting 30mph, but gusts 40mph in Northern Cairngorms in heavier snow showers. Minus 4 to -5°c at Munro Level.

Saturday will be a cold and blustery day with a strong East wind, but with bright and sunny overhead in the West Highlands, while some snow showers will come into the Eastern Highlands. Minus 5 to -6°c at Munro Level.

Sunday currently looks like another fine overhead day in the West with light winds stuck in a col between some snow showers in the Northern Cairngorms on a moderate NW wind, while flurries come into the Lowther Hills on a SE wind.

Next week looks to remain cool to cold for Highland Scotland, but there could at times be a marked temperature contrast across the British Isles with winds generally between North through East to SE for Northern Scotland. Overall recent model runs indicate Glenshee and Glencoe more likely to catch the majority of the coming weeks snowfall with areas of precipitation tending to rotate in from the SE.

:: Webcams and Weather Stations
Lowther Hill: Leadhills Village Camera online. Power and internet connection has been restored at the Summit Engine Hut, but the camera has failed. This probably can not be resolved until restrictions are eased.

CAIRNGORM: Aviemore Cams online. Loch Morlich webcam has been replaced by a streaming service, please visit .

GLENCOE: All webcams online. The Old Mugs Alley Camera is currently located at the Plateau Cafe looking up the fork to the cafe via the Glencoe Ski Club Hut.

NEVIS: Goose cameras are online. Base camera is offline until Nevis Range reopens.

Glencoe // Tue 01 Jun 2021
Beautiful crunchy spring snow and a colourful summer dusk on the Spring Run.
Glencoe // Wed 26 May 2021
Looking up the upper Main Basin, good granular spring snow turns for those prepared to do the leg work! Access Chair open daily 9am to 4.15pm.
Glencoe // Mon 12 Apr 2021
Looking up the Main Basin after dropping equipment for new summit weather station at the top!
Glencoe // Sun 21 Feb 2021
Snowsport Scotland's performance teams have been permitted to return to on snow training with the help of Glencoe. Still snow well below the Top of the Access so fairly short walk to go touring from Carpark.
Glencoe // Mon 04 Jan 2021
All uplift operation now suspended. Any turns for locals will have to be earned!
Northern Cairngorms Outlook
Monday 12th April
FL: 2000ft.  Part Cloudy
914m: -3°c NW 10 gust 20mph
Tuesday 13th April
FL: 2500ft.  Flurries
914m: -1°c NW 15 gust 25mph
  18.30hrs Sun 11th Apr
West Highlands Outlook
Monday 12th April
FL: 2000ft.  Sunny
914m: -2°c Little or No Wind.
Tuesday 13th April
FL: 2500ft.  Snow Showers
914m: -1°c Var. 10-15mph
  18.29hrs Sun 11th Apr
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Monday 1st February
FL: Surface.  Flurries
914m: -5°c East 15-30mph
Tuesday 2nd February
FL: 500ft.  WhiteOut
914m: -4°c SE 35 gust 50mph
  22.16hrs Sun 31st Jan
Lowther Hill Outlook
Monday 12th April
FL: >Tops.  Sunny
725m: 1°c Little or No Wind.
Tuesday 13th April
FL: >Tops.  Part Cloudy
725m: 2°c NW 10 gust 15mph
  18.31hrs Sun 11th Apr

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