Briefly Winter, then Back to Spring

5th April 2024

It was a wild wintry morning in Lochaber.  Strong winds, heavy snow and cold temperature (summit around minus four). There was a lot of fresh snow which made it feel more like a day in January than in April (we could have done with a bit more of this weather back in January).  However, through the morning there was a significant change in the weather.  It got less windy and the wind swung round to the South, and the freezing level rose above the summits, and cloud level rose. It began to feel much more like April (if a rather soggy April).  Looking more like November than April tomorrow with heavy rain, gale force winds and the freezing level well above the summits. Three seasons in a couple of days!

The view to the top station this morning, it was feeling pretty wild and wintry.

Snow fences at about 750 metres doing their job. There was only a cosmetic dusting of wet snow at this level yesterday. This is just what was needed three months ago!

Blowing snow clogging up burn lines.

Not great view higher up. Lots of fresh snow has collected in areas such as the Goose Gully.

Graphs of summit wind direction (above) and temperature (below). There was a sudden shift in both about 10.30am from January conditions to April conditions.


Average Aonach Mor Summit Midday Temperatures for each of the three main forecasting months ordered from coldest to warmest. For the past 17 years; this January ranked the 10th coldest, February the 13th coldest, and March the 6th coldest. Overall it was ranked 11th coldest out of 17 seasons. Overall sightly warmer than average, but nothing particularly unusual average temperature wise.

The midday Aonach Mor air temperature this season as compared to the maximum, minimum and average from the seasons 2007/08 to now.

The no settle index. This is essentially the sum of all the snowfall that falls each winter (so no account of snow melt has been made). Don’t worry about the scale of the left, it is does not correspond to an actual physical value, and there are some changes in the way the data is recorded, but more to show the relative values for each season. This season (up to yesterday) was slightly below average (10 seasons with more snow, 6 seasons with less).

Comments on this post

  • Alistair Docherty
    5th April 2024 4:41 pm

    Interesting that the settle index for this year is only just lower than 2020/21 which was a pretty epic winter for climbing and skiing. I guess melting is an important part of the equation.

    • lochaberadmin
      6th April 2024 2:27 pm

      I think you are correct Ali, unfortunately thawing has been a significant factor this winter.

Got something to say? Leave a comment

    Latest Lochaber Avalanche Report
    RSS Feed
    Keep up to date by subscribing to our RSS feed
Service funded by sportscotland
Forecast data supplied by the Met Office
SAIS Sponsors