3rd February 2024

Just a heads up for some poor weather later on Sunday and throughout Monday.

Today. Our own area specific Met Office weather forecast for overnight Sat into Sunday has quite a lot of ambiguity over snowfall amounts for Creag Meagaidh. It’s entirely possible we could get more than the numbers we have on our official weather forecast. So if you’re planning on venturing into our area for a bit of mountain sport and we do get more snow then you may need to do an on-site upwards recalibration of the published avalanche hazard forecast.

You may ask, why can’t the SAIS incorporate this potentially higher snowfall guesstimate into the avalanche hazard? It’s a perfectly legitimate question.

The answer to which is that we have to go with the published snowfall amount the Met Office produce for us. They have a supercomputer the size of a detached house and experienced people with postgraduate degrees in physics operating it. They’ll have thought pretty carefully when they come to crunch the numbers deciding on snowfall amounts for each of the SAIS forecast areas. At least that’s what we hope.

To incorporate the ‘might be as much as…‘ snowfall number into our avalanche forecast would make the avalanche hazard category wildly pessimistic if we don’t get that bigger amount. (We have to deal with a lot of uncertainty on a daily basis when avalanche forecasting and just occasionally there can be a little bit more, like now.)

(Above) The East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. (800m at the bottom of the photo). A little bit lacking in the white stuff today but there was more drifting at higher altitudes where some windslab was developing close to where the ridge terminates near the summit area. Quite busy with two, possibly three teams ascending the ridge whilst I was there.


(Above) Looking down towards the rounded ‘grassy gnolls’ on the East Ridge. 3 to 4cms of snow accumulated on the grass here but drifting at this altitude was negligible.

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