The Met Office have announced some new features in their regional mountain weather forecasts - a service used widely by climbers and walkers.
The changes have been brought about to assist the growing number of outdoor enthusiasts to be better informed and prepared for mountain activities.
New research from the Met Office revealed that amongst people who consider themselves 'outdoor enthusiasts', 31% say they have found themselves in a 'dangerous or perilous' situation due to not planning for the weather, which equates to around eight million people across the UK. Just 20% say that 'checking the weather' is their top priority before heading out to participate in an outdoor activity.
Richard Orrell, Deputy Head of the Public Weather Service at the Met Office, said: 'It is clear from our research that too many outdoor enthusiasts suffer needlessly because of a lack of preparation. For those who venture into our upland landscapes the risks and consequences of being unprepared for potentially life-threatening situations can be extremely severe.'
The Mountain Region Forecasts cover a wide range of high altitude areas across Great Britain including most of the high ground in Scotland north of the central belt, The Lake District, The Yorkshire Dales, The Peak District, Snowdonia and The Brecon Beacons. The improvements have been rolled out ahead of the summer walking season and information is compiled by meteorologists with experience of mountain environments.
The updated mountain forecasts provide area-specific risks of weather hazards and forecasts for weather conditions in three-hourly periods including wind speed and direction, temperature, the probability of rain or snow, visibility levels and whether cloud is expected to cover hill tops – to help outdoor enthusiasts prepare routes, clothing and equipment.