Mild air & cold snow
21st January 2022
A strange mish-mash of temperatures today due to complicated inversion conditions:
1215hrs – Air temp at 620m beside Lochan a Choire in Coire Ardair:Â +4.0 degrees C.
1250hrs – Air temp at 910m in Coire nan Gamhna (about 1km away from Lochan a Choire): +7.0 degrees C.Â
1300hrs – Air temp at 1185m at Aonach Mor, our nearest mountain weather station: -1.7 degrees C.
A layer of really mild air below summit level but much colder near and above summits.
The Met Office’s weather station at the Cairnwell (Glenshee) at 933m registered +8.0 degrees C. at midday – a similar altitude to the snowpit site in Coire nan Gamhna.
Just to complicate things further:-
1250hrs – Surface snow temperature at 910m in Coire nan Gamhna: -0.4 degrees C. Lower surface temperature almost certainly due to it the snow losing heat directly to the sky as there was no cloud cover. All new and old snow stayed well frozen at all altitudes despite the mild air temperatures at certain altitudes.
Wild swimming advisory: Lochan a Choire at 620m was +2 degrees C. at midday Friday.
(Above) A lone climber nearing the top of Raeburn’s Gully on firm snow-ice. Very limited winter sport options at Creag Meagaidh. Easy Gully is complete but will soften as temperatures rise and rain sets in on Saturday.
(Above) The view out of Coire nan Gamhna towards the Post Face and the Inner Coire. Scant cover; patches of firm snow-ice here and there with a little thin, soft and cold windslab on some aspects of the coire rim today.
Wild swimming advisory: the water temperature in the wee footbath of a lochan at 815m was +0.8 degrees at lunchtime. You may not need your dookers for this puddle!
(Above) Talus on the steep NW-facing backwall of Coire nan Gamhna. Not used to seeing this coire in what might loosely be called very late spring conditions, so was interested to observe the contrasting colour, rock type and size of the talus up near the coire rim. It was pink/red and of a consistently smaller size and much finer-grained than the prevailing grey blocky stuff.
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