The revamped Met Office mountain forecasts rely heavily on graphic information

The revamped Met Office mountain forecasts rely heavily on graphic information

Britain’s official weather forecasting service has revamped its online mountain pages.

The Met Office said this is the result of an extensive conversation with members of the public.

The mountain weather forecasts cover seven areas: two in Scotland; two in Wales and three in England.

A spokesperson said: “The revamped pages provide mountain forecasts with a selection of the main mountain areas and those which have the highest visitor figures.

“Forecasts are issued twice per day and as a direct result of feedback received from the users of the existing pages, these now cover the full 24-hour period where previously only daylight hours were provided.

“Users of the service will be able to click on the region they are planning their expedition to take place to see detailed information about the location including warnings and weather hazards; a weather overview; a location map and links to useful information services.”

The graphics have been simplified and wind speed and direction for segments of the day have disappeared, with only a general maximum wind speed for the whole day.

Recent rainfall details in the area are now logged, with figures for the past 24, 48 and 72 hours.

The Met Office said that, as well as its mountain pages being refreshed and easier to read, they are now printable meaning, the latest forecast can be taken on expeditions or displayed in local youth hostels and climbing clubs.

For the two Scottish areas, the eastern Highlands and western Highlands, there are also links to the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service, which runs reports for five areas during winter months.

SAIS co-ordinator Mark Diggins said: “The weather has a direct effect on snow stability and therefore avalanche hazard.

“Gathering all hazard information is important in helping prepare for winter journeys into the mountains.

“Having weather and avalanche information available in one place will greatly help the public in this process, therefore we are very pleased that access to our service is more prominent.”

Derrick Ryall, head of the Met Office’s public weather service said: “Mountains can be inhospitable and dangerous places if you are not prepared.

“From one hour to the next, one hill to the next, they can exhibit a dramatic variation in weather conditions.

“We were really pleased to receive so much feedback on the old pages and that we have been able to use this to improve our service.

“The weather can vary a great deal and change very quickly, posing a significant risk to walkers’ safety so the more we can do to reduce this risk, the better.

“Whether it’s a well-planned expedition or a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to the hills, it is important to check the forecast.”

The Met Office’s revamped forecasts can be seen on its mountain pages.

The independent Mountain Weather Information Service also provides a free comprehensive forecast service online.

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