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Welcome to the Mountain Weather Information Service

MWIS currently produce forecasts for 8 different mountain areas of the UK as an aid to mountain safety.

Forecasts are produced manually using information from a range of forecast models and forecasters knowledge of mountain weather. New forecasts, for the next three days are produced by 4:30pm daily, normally earlier in the winter, and amended as necessary.

The production of the Scottish forecasts is fully funded by the Scottish Government through sportscotland with the support of The Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

As always, please continue to give us feedback about what you think of our website, service and future development plans.


Observations from mountain summits

Monday 27th July 07:00 BST
Cairngorm (1245m) n/a n/a
Aonach Mor (1130m)  2.4C SSW 8 gusts 30mph
Cairnwell (933m) n/a n/a
Great Dun Fell (N. Pennines) (847m)  7.4C NE    30mph
Bealach na ba (Wester Ross) (773m)  4.4C E     18 gusts 41mph


News

Planning video, updated Monday 27th July - very cold; particularly Thursday. But very clear air.

We are trialling forecast videos concentrating on the outlook period. They do take time to prepare, will be updated two or three times a week: generally around Tuesday, when there is some clarity on the weekend to come, and over the weekend with a look forward to the coming week.

As with all our forecasts, please give us feedback.


Advertise with MWIS

We're currently looking for sponsors from within the mountain user community.

MWIS is part-funded by the Scottish Government, but the IT and website, as well as the English and Welsh forecasts, are paid for by advertising from the mountain-user community. We get thousands of hits every month from mountain users, and we have advertising opportunities for each of our eight forecasts and homepage.

To find out more about advertising with us, please read the information on prices, and get in touch with felicity@mwis.org.uk.


Feedback from users - Forecasting lightning; do we over forecast?

We are always grateful for feedback from those using the service. Here is the text of, and reply to an email that came in mid July.

The one weather condition that is genuinely scary to me is lightning (I can handle anything else)
I wonder sometimes if you overstate the risk however, as when a hot spell arrives, inevitably you state that "small risk of afternoon thunderstorms."  This has put me off going sometimes, (and I feel I have missed out).  I wonder if you could quantify the risk a bit more exactl

 

In Britain, lightning only rarely occurs widely, and not all lightning strokes hit the ground. On the mountains, most lightning occurs in winter, when cold Arctic air reaches Britain (often on west or southwesterly winds as the flow curves before reaching Britain). Typically there are hundreds of shower clouds over tens of thousands of square miles; at any one time only a small proportion (typically less than 5%) produce lightning - but its occurrence, usually restricted to western areas (most frequent W & NW Highlands) is almost random. Sometimes, showers are clustered into bands, typically 'comma' shaped, where the lightning risk if higher. Most lightning is cloud to ground. 
In spring and summer, a small proportion of afternoon showers developing inland produce lightning, again these sometimes in clusters or lines where air converges. Rarely, many thunderstorms develop, typically moving north from France or Spain. These result in frequent lightning, albeit sometimes the cloud is very high and cloud to cloud lightning predominates.


Because lightning is a significant danger on mountain ridges and summits, we explicitly forecast it, and try not to miss its possibility. Thus, particularly in winter on western mountains, it is mentioned often (typically 'low risk') but rarely occurs in any one location. We take the view it is better to be aware of its possibility so that as precipitation approaches or starts, where possible, a person can move off a ridge or summit, but are aware there may be only isolated flashes during daylight across the whole of upland Britain. 
You may like to comment on whether this approach, rather than for example media forecasts that use the term 'sharp showers' as a euphemism for the possibility of lightning (and only state thunderstorms when very likely), is more helpful.

 

In association with
Mountaineering Council of Scotland sportscotland Association of Mountaineering Instructions