Aonach Mor Weather Stations

11th January 2023

It was a wild day on Aonach Mor today. Heavy and frequent snow showers through the day were accompanied by some gusty South-Westerly winds. Between showers an occasional patch of blue sky was visible.

Taken at 10.15am. Look at the colour of that sky. Definitely some weather approaching.

Taken 10.18am (just 3 minutes after the previous shot). Some weather had definitely arrived!

At 1200 metres the snowpack which got very wet yesterday and frozen solid, and was very icy. Crampons were required to even on the flat. When faffing with the camera in my gloves I accidently put it into “art” mode, but this seemed to produce a much better photo bring out the difference between the icy, and the fresh snow.

I find that during the winter months weather observations from the mountain are a very useful tool to help understand the snowpack and write the reports. In terms of automatic weather stations, Aonach Mor is perhaps the best covered hill in Scotland. There are 4 weather stations that I look at most days.  One of these is a Met Office station (the Met Office will need to explanation as to who they are). The other three are Holfuy stations. Holfuy is a Hungarian company that makes weather stations, the English version of their website can be found at  .  They seem pretty successful  company with stations all over the place (they do seem to sell a good product). Their map page ( shows data from hundreds of stations, mainly around Europe, but some further afield. I can get easily be distracted by this page, and instead of writing this blog have discovered that is it currently  +28°C Guadeloup, while in in the mountains of Azerbaijan is it -12°C. This is without getting on to looking at the winds, or images (some of the stations have webcams), from their stations.

Anyway, back to something more local.  Starting with the highest of the weather stations and working down the hill;

Number 1. SAIS Aonach Mor. Altitude 1185m. Website  This station measures temperature and pressure. It also measures either humidity and calculates wetbulb, or vice versa (I think it is the former, but not 100% sure). All the holfuy stations discussed here also measure humidity and pressure, but I won’t really discuss these measurements as they are less significant from a snow and avalanche point of view.  The station is housed in wide piece of pipe attached to the wall of the summit hut. After a few different attempts it was found that this seemed to work okay in preventing the instrument riming up too much. Even then the humidity should be take with a pinch of salt due to the presence of snow/rime on and around the sensor.

Above the weather station on the side of the summit hut, a screen shot of the temperature data for today shown below.

Number 2. Met Office weather station.  Altitude 1130m. Website The oldest of the weather stations on Aonach Mor. I am not actually sure when this was built, probably around the time Aonach Mor was built in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. Provides both wind and temperature data but not quite in as much detail as the holfuy stations, and can be a bit temperamental (probably due to the Aonach Mor weather).

The met station at 1130m, with the screen shot of the data below. The webpage has a link to the Aonach Mor forecast (down and right of the data table, but not quite in the screen shot below)

Number 3. Quad, Nevis Range. Altitude 900m.  Website  Another holfuy station at the top of the Quad Chairlift. Measures both temperature, wind which is useful. However, it is relatively close to slight ridge/significant change is slope aspect at the boundary of the North face and the West face,  and I think that this causes local wind effects. I use this station more for temperature, and for wind I look more at number 4 (T17)

Quad holfuy station. Measures both temperature and wind, but local wind effect mean the direction here can be a bit different from the general wind direction.

Number 4. T17, Nevis Range. Altitude 650m. Website   Found on the on the final gondola towers (Tower 17 when counted from the bottom, hence the name T17) just below the top gondola station. Located on the top of a tall (20m?) gondola tower (so very small in photos). It is in quite an open area so the wind direction it measures tends  to be more representative of the overall wind. In terms of temperature I use it a bit, but not as much as some of the higher stations.

Screenshot of the data from T17.

Comments on this post

  • Allan Crawford
    11th January 2023 8:30 pm

    That was very useful !

  • Snowlover
    11th January 2023 9:36 pm

    Hugely underrated blog the old locharber chap. Continue to love your work and efforts to get out when the only place one should be is next to fire with a dram.

  • Scott Whitehead
    11th January 2023 11:15 pm

    Fascinating stuff. I didn’t know about the other weather stations.

  • lochaberadmin
    12th January 2023 2:58 pm

    You forgot this one
    It does have a camera and used to measure rainfall which was useful.

  • Mark Figiel
    12th January 2023 5:48 pm

    Great information on the weather stations and temperatures. I am always interested on the difference in temperature between the valley and the tops. My old Geography teacher told me it was called the lapse rate and in normal conditions it dropped 1c for every 500 feet of ascent , which generally means if it was 9 c at Fort William it would be 0 c on Ben Nevis summit. Very interesting.



  • JT
    13th January 2023 8:53 am

    Great information, particularly the nuances of the different stations given their dispersed locations. I notice that Aonach Mor does feature some windsocks as well which are always useful. although granted they cannot be viewed online.

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