/ One week til lift off?

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Gordon - on 24 Jan 2013
SO....

From what I've seen with my own eyes on the hill, read on other peoples blogs, and has been put on SAIS and MWIS over the last week, it seems that:

1. Ice has built readily but it's been too cold and dry for too long so has stopped building as fast.
2. Lots of snow has been blown around but it needs to settle a bit.
3. We need a bit of water running before the next big freeze comes along.
4. The snow has mainly been dumped on W through to N/NE aspects because of the strong E/SE winds.

Does this mean that MWIS Outlook of:

"Atlantic southwesterlies from the weekend for at least a week will bring long bouts of upland gales; often severe or storm
force particularly across Scotland.
Freezing level will vary with freeze thaw cycles, although only rarely will higher Scottish summits reach freezing point.
Precipitation will be frequent and often heavy, mostly rain on lower areas, whilst mostly snow on higher summits. Total
precipitation will be considerable on western mountains, with western Scotland bearing the brunt."

could sort out all our wishes in one go!?!?!

1. Ice will continue to form as it is fed from rainfall/snowmelt.
2. Rainfall and freeze thaw cycles will settle the snowpack.
3. There will be more water running in the hills generally.
4. With strong W/SW winds, new snow will be dumped on NE through to SE aspects, covering what is kinda bare at the moment.

All in all, it looks like the hills could be well ripe for winter action of all sorts after the next stormy week or so!!!

Discuss. At length if needed!!
smithaldo - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon: one week till lift off indeed... have got a weekend pass for the 1st-3rd feb and looking at the forecast it was so depressing have sacked a trip to scotland off and got the 60 quid with bag flight to rjukan for two days of ice. Just cant see much potential for good ice next weekend as just too warm.

Wise decision? time will tell....
Gordon - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:

Ha, fair one!!

Guess it all comes down to where the freezing level hovers at over the next week or so. Badly worded from MWIS, but suggests Munros will rarely, if at all, get above freezing point. Either that or I totally mis-read it and they'll rarely be below freezing point....!

Enjoy Rjukan either way :)
The Ex-Engineer - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon: I bloody well hope so!

I have just paid out a large amount of money and I'm now booked on my MIC training starting on 3rd Feb with PYB.
JohnnyW - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon:

You've put into words pretty much what I have been thinking. Fingers crossed for my Feb trip!
Finn Curry - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon:

And so you've nudged my hopes up another notch! I've got a trip from the 2nd til the 9th of Feb and have been checking all sites with an OCD level of interest recently!! I hope you're correct.
smithaldo - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon: Afraid you have mis-read it, they wont be below freezing according to what you posted.
Ramblin dave - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:
> (In reply to Gordon) Afraid you have mis-read it, they wont be below freezing according to what you posted.

That was my initial reading of the "only rarely" bit, but it'd seem a bit odd to say that there'll be freeze-thaw cycles if they basically expect it to be thaw-thaw everywhere except on the highest Scottish peaks and even there to only rarely freeze...
Gordon - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: and smithaldo:

It's quite a difficult thing to read isn't it....here's hoping optimism and crossed fingers wins and they actually DO mean it'll rarely be ABOVE freezing on the tops!!!!
smithaldo - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon: looking at the metcheck site it looks like the wind will be mental and freezing level above summit alot of time but dropping to about 700 odd sometimes? lots and lots of rain/snow on the 1st and 2nd though (still a week off so will change alot by then am sure)
smithaldo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo: they have changed the wording to say rarely will the summits exceed freezing point, i.e. be higher than freezing!

so it will likely be very cold but very windy and very snowy too, so on balance for next weekend I could have made the right decision, but for those on the following week it could be great fun!

Anyway that's the beauty of winter climbing and the wait for conditions. Sometimes your lucky, sometimes your not!
Only a hill - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:
Metcheck is notoriously inaccurate though.
smithaldo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Only a hill: yeah maybe, but I suppose the stuff sweeping in over the next week makes any prediction pretty unreliable! any thoughts on what is likely to happen from the ground?
Robert Durran - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to smithaldo)
> Metcheck is notoriously inaccurate though.

Yes, computer generated bollocks with ridiculously unrealistic numbers of significant figures in distant forecasts. And don't be fooled by the silly graphics.

Robert Durran - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:
> (In reply to Gordon) Afraid you have mis-read it, they wont be below freezing according to what you posted.

No, I think you misread it.

smithaldo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I didn't misread it, their grammar was just wrong for what they meant. They have now changed the wording to make it really clear that the summits wont get above freezing.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:
I agree the text was rather ambiguous and to me read more the way it wasn't meant (but I spotted the error), there are often a lot of grammar mistakes on the MWIS forecasts and that's coming from someone who isn't very good at grammar!
smithaldo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo: The OP wrote 'although only rarely will higher Scottish summits reach freezing point'

Which to me means the freezing point would be above the summits, as isn't the freezing point the altitude at which the 0c line is?

either way it would have been much easier for them to write summits will be above/below freezing most of the week!
Robert Durran - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:
> (In reply to smithaldo) The OP wrote 'although only rarely will higher Scottish summits reach freezing point'
>
> Which to me means the freezing point would be above the summits, as isn't the freezing point the altitude at which the 0c line is?

Not to me it doesn't. Certainly not in the context it is given. It means that summits will generally be below freezing but rarely reach (go above )freezing. Just as clear to me as yesterday's wording!
Robert Durran - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

I've checked again and "reach" has been replaced with "exceed" making it even clearer.
Gordon - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo:

Ha, to clear things up a bit, what I originally posted has been changed on MWIS site after I sent an email to MWIS seeing if they would clarify!!! So, from the horses mouth, temperatures "...will rarely exceed freezing point".

Which is good news for us all I guess!!

:)
Jamie B - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon:

One week til lift off? We've had 3 months of intermittently brilliant conditions, we're not waiting for anything!
JamesRoddie - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Was thinking along the same lines myself...
Gordon - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I agree, conditions have been good if you could get out when (and more often, where) they've been good. What I mean is that hopefully by the end of next week things all over the country (of Scotland...) will be built back up to the level they were at before the Big Thaw that Santa brought us all for Christmas!

:)
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Jamie B - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon:

Conditions have been brilliant for the last 2 weeks. Lots of stuff has been getting done.

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