Very Warm, Very Wet.

23rd February 2021

Covid -19
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It was a wet day, even by Lochaber standards. It was also very mild, particularly during the afternoon.  The temperature rose to above +6°C  at 900 metres during the afternoon. The temperature at the met station at 1130 meters recorded a midday temperature of +3.3°C and a maximum temperature of +4.8°C a couple of hours later. This the the highest midday temperature recorded this winter (since we started forecasting back in early December), and likely the highest overall temperature of the winter at this level. It might well have been the wettest as well, but I don’t have good rainfall data so can’t confirm that.
Normally the effect of  a period of very mild and wet weather like this would be a lot of avalanche activity. However, yesterday the snowpack was frozen and very stable. Although stability decreased during today’s thaw, the fact it was so very stable to begin with, meant that there were not the numerous avalanches that you would normally see in weather conditions like this. However, that is not to say it is all stable, there are still some large cornices which remain prone to collapse in the mild conditions.

The temperature graph from the holfuy station at the top of the quad chair at around 900 metres. There was a definite temperature spike during the afternoon, and this was probably the warmest few hours of the winter so far.

Mean, moody, menacing… The view of Ben Nevis this morning. 

The Orion Face and Observatory Gully area during a slight clearing in the weather. 

Coire na Ciste from the CIC hut. Had a bit of water on the lens at this point, but I think the effect captures the atmosphere of the day. 


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