About the Mountain Weather Information Service

What is MWIS?

The Mountain Weather Information Service produces detailed weather forecasts for the main mountaineering areas in Scotland, England and Wales.

Scottish forecasts:
English forecasts:
Welsh forecasts:


Who produces the forecasts?

A dedicated team of weather forecasters with experience in mountaineering and professional meteorology produce the 9 forecasts 365 days a year. The forecasters are:

Geoff Monk

Geoff has been fascinated with the weather for as long as he can remember, and after graduating in meteorology at the University of Reading in 1973, worked for the Met Office for 25 years. Periods in research were focussed on improving weather forecasting, primarily local variations in rainfall and cloud, mostly due to the complex coastline of Britain and Ireland. He also did stints forecasting at several locations in the UK, and abroad in Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

In 1999, Geoff moved to Galloway, having been invited to run what was originally 'Weather Watchers', a private weather forecasting company, now under the name Geoff Monk and Associates. It was in 2002 when Geoff renewed an interest in local weather, this time concentrating on the mountains, developing what became the Mountain Weather Information Service. His other work includes providing weather forecasts for agricultural farmers in the Republic of Ireland, as well as forecasts for construction companies, and sporting and cultural events throughout the year.

Geoff is passionate about teaching meteorology. Once a year, he lectures to science graduates at an annual field course on Arran, run by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. He has also trained several student meteorologists over the years in mountain weather.

His life-long interest in mountains was sparked by a school day trip to the Langdales. Now into his 60s, Geoff continues to enjoy the mountains all over Scotland whenever he gets the chance. Geoff has no plans to retire.

Garry Nicholson

Garry has an MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology and a BA (Hons) in Geography and Broadcast Media. In 2014 at the age of 27, Garry became one of the first Registered Meteorologists (RMet) in the UK. This is a professional accreditation scheme operated by the Royal Meteorological Society to ensure meteorologists operate to a set of professional standards, undergo continuous professional development, and have the experience and qualifications relevant to the profession.

Garry has been working for MWIS for 3 years, beginning an initial period of training with Geoff during Autumn 2013, and progressing to compiling the mountain forecasts independently. He is now one of the most active forecasters within the MWIS team, and has also been a regular contributor to the recently added video forecasts found on the MWIS website.

Since 2012, Garry has also worked for the Weather Consultancy Services operated by Dr Simon Keeling. Day-to-day duties include preparing forecasts to meet the requirements of a wide variety of users - farmers, pilots, sailors, individuals and multi-national companies.

Born and raised in rural Derbyshire, on the doorstep of the Peak District, Garry has always had an affinity for the great outdoors. From a young age he has also regularly travelled to the Scottish Highlands and over many years has toured its length and breadth by car, train, boat and foot. He holds a deep fascination and understanding of the geography and the landscapes of the different mountain areas included in the MWIS forecasts. His academic background - in particular his dissertation analysing rainfall patterns across Scotland and the effects of orographic enhancement and rain-shadowing dependent on airflow patterns - has been invaluable to his MWIS forecasting.

In his free time, Garry is an extremely fair weather golfer, so an accurate weather forecast is a must.

He also enjoy landscape photography, and is always looking for a spectacular view, plus interesting skies!

Dr Simon Keeling

Simon is a professional meteorologist with 30 years of operating experience. A Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society as well as being a Registered Meteorologist, Simon gained an MSc and PhD in Meteorology from the University of Birmingham where he also lectured on weather forecasting.

In 1995, Simon began presenting forecasts on the national breakfast TV station, GMTV.

Simon currently runs two private weather companies, Weatherweb.net and Weather School. Part of Simon's current role is to train weather broadcasters for, amongst other, the BBC. He has collaborated with Geoff Monk for 15 years, firstly on the Weather Watchers project and now MWIS. He is keen on outdoor pursuits including hill walking, mountain biking and flying his glider.

On MWIS, Simon says: "I'm passionate about communicating the weather story. It's vital that we give the users of weather forecasts the information they need in order to make a decision to maximise their enjoyment of the mountains and all that surrounds a fantastic day out. From safety to enjoyment MWIS ensures that the mountain and walking community have the information they need, from the benign to the life saving."

Roland Chaplain

Roland has been working with MWIS since it was established, and is now a reserve forecaster. Roland has more than 50 years of weather forecasting experience. While at the University of Birmingham, he did an extra mural course in Meteorology and Climatology and in 1964, worked as a climatological research assistant. In 1964-69, he worked as the full time Deputy and then acting Director of Edgbaston Observatory, where he was awarded an FRMetS for original work in providing services to all local highways authorities within a forty miles radius of Birmingham.

In 1984, he was involved in setting up the 'Weather Watchers Network', a precursor to Geoff Monk and Associates that now runs MWIS. He has extensive mountain experience, having trained with the Galloway Mountain Rescue that included a navigation course at Glenmore Lodge.

Though now into his 70s, Roland is fit and healthy; Christmas 2015 saw him 70m below the summit of Ben Lomond having a picnic lunch in deep, moderately drifted new snow.

All of our forecasters are open to feedback and suggestions from our users, particularly when we get forecasts wrong. Please continue to give us feedback.

All of our forecasters are open to feedback and suggestions from our users, particularly when we get forecasts wrong. Please continue to give us feedback.

When did MWIS start?

MWIS was set up in 2003 by Geoff Monk, initially as a trial to understand what information was most relevant to mountain users throughout the year to aid their safety and enjoyment when on the hills. It became clear that mountain users wanted detailed - but not overwhelming levels of - information written in language accessible to both professionals and inexperienced mountain users.

Since then, MWIS has gained a loyal following from the mountain community. More forecast areas have been added to the service as a result.

How is MWIS funded?

Since 2007, sportscotland - the national agency for sport in Scotland - has funded MWIS to produce the 5 Scottish forecast areas. In September 2016, sportscotland committed to funding MWIS for a minimum of three years. The Scottish forecasts are also funded by individual sponsorship of the forecast pages by organisations within the mountaineering community.

The 4 other English and Welsh forecasts are produced with limited sponsorship funding that does not fully cover their production. However, there is an element of overlap in the data collection and writing of the Scottish, English and Welsh forecasts, meaning that all 8 forecasts are produced together.

MWIS is seeking major sponsorship of the English and Welsh forecasts so their production costs can be fully covered. If you are interested in finding out more, please email us.

How many people use MWIS?

MWIS forecasts receive over 6 million hits from users every year. For a full breakdown of website hits by month and forecast, please go here.

What are the future plans of MWIS?

MWIS is committed to providing a sustainable service into the future that continues to produce detailed, consistent forecasts to aid mountain safety.

Working with sportscotland and others in the mountaineering community, MWIS is currently in a phase of development to create an improved service. As part of this project, we are expanding the MIWS team and training new forecasters.

If you have suggestions about how MWIS can be enhanced and improved, please get in touch.

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