the general situation
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Mild, Wild & in the West Wet. Significant overnight thaw expected.

This Report for the Scottish Highlands was issued at
21.23hrs Wednesday 20th March 2019.
A fair bit of snow was lost on Wednesday as wind speeds picked up in the mild temps, but it's the full on hairdryer treatment this evening. Wind has attained Hurricane Force on CairnGorm and gusts to over 100mph at Tower 2 of the Glencoe Access Chair.

Get an early weather check with our webcams, first images around 6.00am at this time of year.

Strengthening winds limited uplift on Wednesday. Unfortunately wind speeds have increased significantly through the late afternoon and evening, with the mild temperatures and rain in the West there will be significant overnight damage to the snowcover across the five areas.

Winds are gusting over 70mph at Nevis on the Gondola line this evening, sustained Force 11 and at times mean speeds reaching Force 12 on CairnGorm and the SW winds are barrelling down the front face of Meall a? Bhuiridh producing severe gusts with numerous in the 80?s and 90s and a peak of 117mph near the foot of the Glencoe Access Chair.

With the freezing level above the tops this is all extremely bad news and strong winds and rain showers or in the West more prolonged rain near the coast will continue through Thursday. All five areas offered at least some snowsports for at least part of the day on Wednesday, but even worse weather may mean less uplift on Thursday even before the impacts of the thaw are taken into account. Everything will need to be assessed AM.

While a significant drop in temperature is expected as a potent cold front sweeps SE during Friday, given the conditions at dusk and the weather this evening, then it seems unlikely all five areas will still be in a position to offer lift served snowsports.

Overhead will be better in the East, particularly at the Lecht with SW winds and the Lechts nursery slopes served by the Robin and Wren Magic Carpets remained in excellent condition with the SnowFactory actively topping up the cover. Of the main runs the Snowy Owl was in the best nick, still full width between the fences. Eagle, Grouse and Osprey Pomas operated Wed, but the runs were thinning / narrowing, cover will recede overnight.

Glenshee has already taken a battering with the beginner areas reduced to thin and wet strips, even at dusk it was not planned to operate the Claybokie Poma or roadside beginner slopes Thursday. Links around the Cairnwell Cafe are broken and walking will be required to move from the Baddoch Chair to the other Cairnwell tows, however it is possible that nothing will survive the night complete, Butchart?s Coire and T-bar most likely.

At Glencoe the Plateau runs though the cover has narrowed remained complete at dusk. Old Mugs Alley has narrowed, but is still several piste bashers wide with well packed snow with a softening surface for early intermediates. Mid and upper mountain remains in good shape in terms of cover, the heavy skiing traffic over the weekend meant surface conditions were reasonable.

Nevis was limited to just the Alpha by the wind before an early gondola closure. Lower mountain area is becoming broken and its unlikely any of these runs will be complete back to the lift load areas by morning. Goose has fairly wide cover but narrowing below the timing hut. Signifcantly more snow went into the Back Corries in the Westerly storms.

The wind limited uplift on CairnGorm and speeds are forecast to be slightly higher Thursday, so it looks doubtful for anything above the Cas Tow, if that. It also would take little short of a miracle for full length of the Carpark T-bar uptrack to last the night as the lower section is just a muddy shovelled track.

:: Terrain Parks
The small park at Glencoe on Old Mugs Alley is almost certain to need rebuilding after this storm cycle.

:: CairnGorm Funicular Closure
The CairnGorm Funicular is closed indefinitely and will not run this winter or summer while its fate is considered in an 'all options appraisal' by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

For snowsports that means that uplift is only available on surface tows on CairnGorm. Firstly access to the Top Basin (Ptarmigan and Ciste T-bars) and Ptarmigan Restaurant is only by advanced level, steep and fast auto-stacking pomas that are only suitable for experienced riders able to cope with red graded terrain.

Secondly it means the wind threshold for lift served snowsports and reliability of access to the more snow sure Top Basin will be significantly reduced. Keep this in mind when checking forecasts and planning a trip.

:: Mountain Forecast Discussion
A Foehn effect will further raise temperatures on the North Eastern side of the Highlands Thursday while it is wetter in the West. Temperatures at Munro Level could reach +7 to +8°c in around the North and Eastern fringe of the Cairngorms. Between +4 and +5°c at Munro Level in the West. SW 40 to 45 gusting 50 to 65mph.

An abrupt drop in temperature now looks likely on Friday, the cold front could be very active and while wind speeds will moderate behind it, there is a risk of gusts reaching the 70 to 90mph bracket for a time as the front approaches and comes through. A rain to snow transition as the front comes through with snow showers following in behind on the Munros.

Saturday looks to be a day of Sunny spells and snow showers, with a moderate West wind that at this point doesn?t look as if it should cause any issues. Between -2 and 0°c at Munro Level, lower in the NW, higher in the SE Highlands.

Considerable scatter by Sunday. Minus 1 lowering -3°c, a strong possibly Gale Force West wind.

Very early indications at this stage, but hints continue towards Monday being the day of next week (again).

:: Club Fields
The LDSC Raise Poma run on Sunday and Monday. Check the twitter feed for updates later in the week.

Please check all club fields access Ts&Cs as day tickets are not always available and some are members only due to insurance conditions.

Find out more:

www.yadmoss.co.uk 01228 561634
ski-allenheads.co.uk 0191 5974 174
www.skiweardale.com 01388 317767

:: Webcams and Weather Stations
Lowther Hill: Off grid Summit Camera and Leadhills Village Camera online.

CAIRNGORM: Aviemore Cams online. Loch Morlich Cam online.

GLENCOE: Most cams online. Some recent storm damage to mid-mountain network / cams, sledge park camera back on site and reconnected. Mid mountain cam needs further network work (and drier conditions to do it in).

NEVIS: Front of mountain cams online.

Glencoe // Sun 17th Mar
While the Spring Run and Canyon were the picks for more experineced riders there's great snowsports for all abilities at Glencoe with a fine day forecast for Monday. Don't miss out it's Mountain Monday!
Glenshee // Sat 16th Mar
Big meaty snowflakes fell much of the day. Monday last fine day before it becomes milder again - get up if you can before Tuesday!
Glencoe // Sat 16th Mar
Snow fell throughout daylight hours and more showers due overnight. Don't miss out - get up Sunday or Monday!
Glencoe // Thu 14th Mar
Storms continued Thursday but there is now good cover on all runs from the base of the Plateau Poma up and wind is forecast to drop for the weekend! Should be good riding for all abilities.
Glencoe // Sun 10th Mar
Plateau Poma early Sunday, 5-6" more snow has fallen with severe drifting since. Best day of week looks like Monday - grab the opportunity!
Glencoe // Tue 19th Feb
Ski School lessons and sledging available on machine made snow, but insufficient snow for lift served riding
The Lecht // Mon 11th Feb
Fresh snow overnight and Sunny Monday. Lecht probably best bet for Tuesday, but check the lift status in the morning due to strong winds.
CairnGorm Mtn // Mon 11th Feb
Sadly it won't be a repeat on Tuesday! High winds forecast so check uplift status AM next few days.
Northern Cairngorms Outlook
Thursday 21st March
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 6°c WSW 40 gust 65mph
Friday 22nd March
FL: 4000ft.  Wintry Showers
914m: 2°c SW 50 gust 90mph
  19.28hrs Wed 20th Mar
West Highlands Outlook
Thursday 21st March
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 4°c WSW 40 gust 60mph
Friday 22nd March
FL: 3500ft.  Mix Snow/Rain
914m: 1°c SW 50 gust 80mph
  19.25hrs Wed 20th Mar
Southern Cairngorms Outlook
Thursday 21st March
FL: >Tops.  Showers
914m: 5°c WSW 25 gust 55mph
Friday 22nd March
FL: 4500ft.  Showers
914m: 3°c SW 45 gust 70mph
  19.30hrs Wed 20th Mar
Lowther Hill Outlook
Thursday 21st March
FL: >Tops.  Showers
725m: 6°c WSW 30 gust 45mph
Friday 22nd March
FL: >Tops.  Rain
725m: 4°c SW 30 gust 50mph
  19.31hrs Wed 20th Mar