Good Old Met Office

8th March 2018

The SAIS is supported by the Met Office and we receive specific weather forecasts for each of our areas from them. In the Torridon area, we also use data from the Met Office mast at the summit of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain (776m), Bealach na Ba near Applecross. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago the mast was hit by lightning and has affected the amount of data it produces. I contacted the Met Office recently to enquire when the weather station would be back up and running and got an immediate reply stating that engineers were on site trying to fix it, but it was a bigger job than expected. As a renowned cynic, a was pleased to see signs of a tracked vehicle and footprints in the snow leading up to the mast. But it still isn’t fully working! Ah well at least it’s in hand.

A busy car park in Glen Torridon. The icefalls on the Southern aspects of Liathach (behind) are thawing, mainly due to sun warming.

Looking North over Upper Loch Torridon. There is less snow on the coastal mountains – Beinn Alligin on the left and Liathach on the right.

Some ice still hanging in there in the Eastern coires of Beinn Bhan.

The council continues to work on the Bealach na Ba road, clearing snow banks to widen the carriageway.

The access track up to the mast on the summit of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain.

Spot the Ptarmigan! A male and female – starting to change from their winter plumage.

The aim for today was to look at recent accumulations of windslab on West to North-West aspects. The ‘white’ windslab is lying on the firm old ‘grey’ snowpack.

Cracks propagating in the windslab. If appropriate, as a final ‘quick’ test, we step above the snowpit and progressively weight the snow. In this instance, the failures in the windslab matched what was recorded in the snow profile data.


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