If you’re planning to climb Snowdon in the coming days it’s essential you know what the weather’s going to be like at the summit. Checking the mountain weather forecast before setting off will ensure you have the right gear for the day or might even lead you to change your plans altogether.
It’s important to understand how mountain weather differs from the weather we experience in the valleys. Very simply we would expect the temperature to drop by 1°C for every 100m we climb. Snowdon is over 1000m high so typically the temperature will be around 10°C colder at the top than when you started. That’s before we add in any other factors such as wind chill.
The UK Met Office provides mountain weather forecasts for the main hill and mountain areas around the country. These forecasts are designed for walkers, mountaineers and others enjoying outdoor activities. They’re issued each afternoon and cover that evening period, the full 24 hours from midnight to midnight for the next two days and include a brief outlook for the following three days. They’re then updated in the early hours of each morning before 6am so it’s important to check again on the day for any updates.
Mountain weather forecasts are available for the Northwest Highlands, North Grampian, South Grampian and Southeast Highlands and Southwest Highlands regions in Scotland. In England they’re written for the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District. Forecasts are also available for Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons in Wales and the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.
Knowing what the weather’s doing on your mountain day is key to making sure you’re properly prepared and get the most out of the experience. Having the wrong gear for the weather conditions can turn a lovely day out in to a nightmare.