Friday 27 July 2007

Mountain Weather Information Service

Here's a nice sunny picture for the end of July! Still, snow looks better than rain. It was actually taken in February on the Cairngorm Plateau in a blizzard. The white streaks are horizontal wind-driven snow. I've posted it as a reminder of what conditions can be like in the Scottish mountains and why a good weather forecast can be invaluable for safe planning. For several years I've found the Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) to be the most accurate and the most detailed. This summer I've used it to grab sunny weather windows between the murk and rain, twice being on the tops before 5am in bright sunshine, then descending mid-morning as the clouds closed in. MWIS has been in need of funding for some time now and a campaign has been run to gain government support, with much good work being done by Roger Wild, the Safety Officer of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, so it was with great delight that I learnt yesterday that the Scottish Executive is providing the necessary funds.

The photo shows my companion at the top of the Fiacaill a'Choire Chais in the Cairngorms. Photo info: Canon EOS 300D, 18-55mm lens at 35mm, f8 @ 1/1000, ISO 200, raw file processed in DxO Optics Pro.

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