About the Mountain Weather Information Service

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 been working for MWIS since 2013 and is now one of the most active forecasters. He also manages ongoing projects and development for MWIS, and produces the popular 'Planning Outlook' video forecasts and social media content.

Garry has an MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology and a BA (Hons) in Geography and Broadcast Media and is a Registered Meteorologist (RMet) under the accreditation scheme operated by the Royal Meteorological Society.

Born and raised in rural Derbyshire, on the doorstep of the Peak District, Garry has always had an affinity for the great outdoors. Favourite stomping grounds include the rugged gritstone edges of the Dark Peak, the wide open landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and in more recent years bagging the classic fells of the Lake District. 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 into the mountains on 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. Garry is a student of weather history, and loves to delve into the archives to uncover the ever-changing nature of the great British weather through the decades.

Garry also works for Weather Consultancy Services, which operates Weatherweb.net, providing video and text content to subscribers, individuals and multi-national companies.

In his free time, Garry is an extremely fair weather golfer, so an accurate weather forecast is a must! He also enjoys landscape photography, and is always looking for a spectacular view, plus interesting skies!

Calum MacColl

Calum's passion for the weather was initially ignited at a very young age when he experienced his first memorable snowfall in Fort William and was amazed by the way it transformed the landscape and his immediate surroundings. He would also gaze up to Ben Nevis from his bedroom window, totally absorbed by its ever-changing weather conditions. This passion led to Calum leaving his homeland and moving south to the University of Reading where he studied Meteorology.

After graduating with a BSc in Meteorology in 2010, Calum did work-experience with Geoff for several months in 2011 where he learned how to put his meteorology theory into practice and also was taught a vast amount about the local weather of the British Isles. He then moved back down south to sunny Devon to work for the Met Office for 5 years. Here he received an intensive training period in observations and forecasting, before becoming an aviation and commercial forecaster in the Operations Centre in Exeter.

In 2016 Calum moved back to Scotland to pursue another burning ambition; to learn Scottish Gaelic, and subsequently this led to a move to the Isle of Skye to study Gaelic at Sabhal Mor Ostaig for one year. After completing his course in Skye, Calum began working for MWIS in the summer of 2017 on a part-time basis and continues in his quest to learn Gaelic by attending a college in Glasgow three days a week.

Calum is very interested in all aspects of forecasting and current weather patterns in particular. Indeed, his final year dissertation at university focussed on an extreme weather event which affected the North Western shores of Great Britain in the winter of 2005. Commendably, this was the first time that this major storm had been investigated in such depth and, on a personal level, he derived much satisfaction from his achievements in this respect as he had experienced the storm at first hand!

In his spare time, Calum plays the bagpipes and the button box accordion and has started to learn a few Gaelic songs too! He also likes to play golf where he is exposed to all elements of the weather as well as playing tennis when the opportunity arises. He also tries as much as possible to get out onto the hills; especially around his own local Lochaber area when it is in its full winter coats!

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 others, 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.

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, with the most recent upgrade to Pennine forecasts in 2019 now taking the total forecast regions to ten.

How is MWIS funded?

Since 2007, sportscotland - the national agency for sport in Scotland - has funded MWIS to produce the 5 Scottish forecasts. 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 English and Welsh forecasts are produced with limited sponsorship funding that does not fully cover their production. MWIS is seeking major sponsorship of the English and Welsh forecasts to ensure the sustainability of this content. If you are interested in finding out more, please email us.

How many people use MWIS?

MWIS forecasts receive over 7 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. 

We are in the process of upgrading our website and app content, whilst ensuring the existing forecast structure and popular PDF format remain unchanged. In the past 3 years, we have added social media feeds, plus Youtube video content, and intend to further improve these areas. We are continuing to expand the MWIS team and are training new forecasters.

If you would like to know more about our ongoing plans, or are interested in sponsoring our content, and would like to receive a copy of our media pack and latest advertising offers, please get in touch.

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In association with
Mountaineering Council of Scotland Association of Mountaineering Instructions