Spain’s snow-covered mountains

Rather more geographical than meteorological I know, but I think I’ve identified these four snow-covered mountain ranges in Spain which are standing out so well on today’s satellite picture (fig 1). I reckon that after a bit of research they are: The large striking Montes de León range of which the highest peak is Teleno at 2,188 M. The isolated Peña Canchera at 1,592 M is the highest point in the Sierra de Gata range. The Sierra de Gredos range peaking out from some cloud of which the highest point is Pico Almanzor at 2,592 M. The snow-covered mountains close to the south coast are of course the Sierra Nevada’s or ‘snowy mountains’ in Spanish, […]

Hurricane force winds on top of the blue hill

Hurricane force winds on top of Cairngorm this morning, where the winds is meaning 77 knots (113 mph) and gusting to 98 knots (120 mph) at 10 UTC, that’s close to category two hurricane strength, and that’s a ten-minute and not a two-minute mean. The wind has been slowly backing over the last couple of days, and with the air temperature currently at -3.7°C that means a wicked wind chill equivalent of -17.2° for any poor sod who’s daft enough to be up there at the moment.

BBC: Ben Nevis gets automatic weather station

The BBC news report that a temporary weather station has been installed on the summit of Ben Nevis this Autumn, this is 113 years after the original weather observatory which commenced observations in 1884 closed in 1904. The AWS looks suspiciously like a Vaisala Weatherhawk (Vaisala WXT536) something I’ve always wanted to replace my aging Vantage Pro with, but something we simply can’t afford my wife says. It stands just a few metres from the summit cairn on what looks like a six metre mast with two huge solar panels bolted on it to provide the power. It looks like the whole thing is a publicity stunt funded by the […]

First dusting of snow on Cairngorms

I can’t say for certain, but I would have thought that today was the first time that the high tops of the Cairngorms have seen a dusting of snow this Autumn, but I could be wrong (fig 1). It’s certainly been a very mild Autumn over the mountains of Scotland so far this Autumn (fig 2). I didn’t expect to find a webcam at the top of the funicular railway at the Ptarmigan restaurant (fig 3) but here’s the evidence of that dusting of snow, although even that could be rime I suppose. I notice that they even have a smart phone app for this season so that you […]

Winter drawers on up the Zugspitze

The cold air ushered in by storm Xavier has certainly dropped the temperatures on the Zugspitze in the last 24 hours (fig 2). From a balmy max of 2.9°C yesterday, temperatures have quickly fallen away to around -9.1°C at 15 UTC this afternoon, but then again it is 9,718 feet up in the Wetterstein mountains in southern Germany close to the Austrian border. The strong northwesterly wind has died down a bit and they have had at least 20 cm of fresh snow during today, but how they manage to find any snow surface that’s not severely drifted to accurately measure a snow depth beats me.

BBC News: Bid to rescue Ben Nevis weather data

Believe it or not, the hourly weather observations from Ben Nevis from 1898-1902 have still not been digitised. It’s a real shame that the Met Office haven’t already done this on behalf of the nation, instead of relying on volunteers at Weather Rescue to do it for them (fig 2). But then again, they have their hands full, because they still have at least fifty years of climate records that the Victorians left them that also need digitising, because at the moment their climate records only extend back to 1910 for temperature and rainfall, and 1929 for sunshine. It’s not that the Met Office haven’t been round for all that […]

BBC: Ben Nevis snow free for first time in 11 years

Interesting news item from the BBC about the lingering snow patches in various gullies across the mountains of Scotland. I wonder if the three patches in the Cairngorms will survive? I suppose it will depend on the kind of Autumn that we are in for, cold and dry, or mild and wet. Just across the way from Ben Nevis is Aonach Mor with an AWS on it (WMO #03041). The AWS is not quite at the top of Aonach Mor which is 1221 M high (4,006 feet), but a little way down at the top of the chairlift at 1130 M (3,707 feet), from where I guess there is […]

The shelter of mountains

An interesting number of examples of just how shelter from mountains can make the difference between a cloudy day and one with sparkling spring sunshine in today’s visible satellite sequence. There are clear skies evident in the air coming south southwestward from over the mountains of Norway and into the northern North Sea. There’s also shelter as the air is warmed and dried on the southern slope of the Grampians over Perthshire and Fife. The mountain and fells of the northern Lake district are doing enough to stop the passage of the SC sheet extending southwards from the Scottish Borders, and the Pennines are just high enough, and the […]

The Cuillins are calling

Most years in spring you always seem to find a spell of anticyclonic easterlies over Scotland, and the Cuillins in Skye start calling to any intrepid Munro bagger out there. This year has been no exception with the weather since the 1st of May being absolutely glorious in the Northwest Highlands for the Munroist, as these visible satellite images reveal (fig 2). It’s been well over twenty years since I’ve been on Skye but one day I will return, if I’m not too old, and try to finish what I started, that’s if my wife will let me.

April snow for Cairngorms

It’s proving to be a cold and showery Easter over Northern Scotland this year, and the showers affecting the area on Saturday afternoon look like they are putting snow down to ~3000 feet if this webcam image is anything to go by (fig 1). That’s because the cold air over Scotland is holding the air temperature on Cairngorm at a very cold -2.9°C (13 UTC) at the moment. The heatmap of air temperatures on the summit since the start of March shows that until this last week, it had been relatively mild since around the 24th of March (fig 2). It looks like the high ground might get a bit […]