No Shortage of Weather Today!

27th December 2023

With heavy rain and snow, and strong winds causing issues with flooding, snow and fallen trees on the road in the area, there was certainly no shortage of “weather” today.  Heading up the hill today we passed through a number of different weather/snowpack zones.

Zone 1; Wet and not too windy. The view at the Aberarder farm house at an altitude of about 270 meters. The temperature was a few degrees above freezing, it was raining incessantly but not too windy. 

Zone 2. Zone of maximal wetness (and windy).  Heading up the hill at an altitude of about 450 metres. At this level the temperature was just above freezing, and there was a relatively uniform layer of wet snow over everything (including us). This wet snow would stick and slowly melt doing it’s best to get into our waterproofs.  

Zone 3. Drifting and windier. Continuing up the hill at an altitude of around 600 metres. By this point the temperature was just below freezing and although still damp, the snow was just dry enough for drifting to occur.  As can be seen by the deep drift in the foreground, and the scoured hillside in the background. 

Zone 4. Lots of drifting, lots of wind. Conditions at 700 metres. At this level there was lots of drifting going on. In this case windslab was building rapidly on to the easy angled slope where the forecaster is. Although not particularly extensive, the combination of fresh windslab lying on the soft powdery layer which fell a couple of days ago led to an unstable combination. I would not have wanted to be on anything steep with that combination of snow layers. 

Shooting cracks on some easy angled terrain. Again a sign of poor stability. 

Not far away  on the A9 at Drummochter Pass conditions were quite wild with lots of cars getting stuck. This is a screen shot from the traffic Scotland webcam. These days numerous webcams at ski centres and roads around Scotland can be a very useful source of information as to what is happening on the ground in different locations.



Comments on this post

  • Keith Horner
    28th December 2023 1:54 pm

    Chapeau to you and your colleague for venturing so high in such conditions – very helpful to see how snow depth, wind speed and temperature combine relative to altitude in this type of weather pattern.

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