Areas of Central Scotland with a little altitude could see significant snowfall by Thursday morning, however much less snow is expected to fall at the five Highland Snowsports Areas. A stormy and mild weekend is also forecast. If you are camping for Groove CairnGorm - invest in some angle or triangular tent pegs!!
By 1am Thursday snow should be falling in Leadhills and there is a chance that Lowther Hills Ski Club will be able to run their village rope tows on Thursday evening after the weather eases and on Friday for club members. Unfortunately that looks likely to be all the lift served action possible as Storm Doris is hitting too far South for real benefit to the Highland Snowsports Areas, though Glenshee might just catch a fair bit if the storm is on the more Northern of projected trajectories.
As things stand at dusk all five Highland snowsports areas require significant new snowfall to resume lift served snowsports and while some snow will fall on Thursday or Friday it looks like being academic as to whether its enough for even limited sliding as a very stormy, mild and Wet weekend is expected. Up to 4 inches of rain could fall on West Highland mountains on Saturday alone.
It had looked as if we might have a significant base building storm cycle, but model runs that took Doris further South shoved Saturday's low too far North on the back of rebounding geopotential heights over Southern England - a recurring theme of this non-winter. As the models firmed up on Doris the Southerly track and horrific Saturday is the scenario that is unfolding, though there is hints of conditions that could lead to a sting jet scenario and explosive cyclogenesis of Doris - so there is a small chance it could still throw a curveball.
Aside for possibly some sliding for members of Lowther Hills Ski Club in Leadhills, it looks as if we will be waiting for the new month in the hope that the arrival of meteorological Spring reboots the weather pattern!
In the meantime Glencoe is offering tubing on the dryslope daily during half term from 12-4pm (again weather permitting). Ski and Board lessons for novices are available on the dry slope in the morning - please book in advance. Access Chair expected to operate Thursday and there is some snow for sledging close to the Plateau Cafe.
Nevis Range are also offering beginner lessons on their dry slope, with the Alpha Button for uplift for ski school.
Storm Doris will track South of Scotland so we will get colder air, but the heavy precipitation will miss the Highlands with the most snow falling just South of the Central Belt of Scotland. This is expected to bring blizzards to Lowther Hill with models ranging from 20 to 40cm of snow. Wind direction being NW may not be favourable for the fencing on the Hill, but hopefully a decent amount will stick on the Golf Course. Club volunteers will monitor the village slopes during Thursday.
Friday looks like being a day of snow showers coming in on a moderate NW backing West wind, -3 to -4°c at Munro Level. If enough snow has stuck for lift served snowsports to resume anywhere it will be a cause of grab the opportunity as a stormy weekend beckons.
On current projections Friday is the calm before the next storm, a wide warm sector will sweep across Highland Scotland sometime between later Friday evening and early Saturday, exposure to mild air could be 24 to 36 hours with the FL well above the Summits on Saturday. Storm Force SW winds will accompany incessant rain for West Coast Highland mountains with up to 4 inches in some locations. With a rapid snowmelt of what new snow does fall during Thursday and Friday stream and river levels will be high with some risk of flooding.
It looks as if any snow on Sunday will be confined to the highest summits as SW Severe Gales or stronger winds continue with the FL sitting just above the higher Munros.
More encouraging temperatures next week, current projections are for a mix of Sunny Spells and snow showers on a Gale Force Southerly to start the new week with -3 to -5°c expected at Munro Level. However detail beyond Thursday could change if Storm Doris does something unexpected.
Check the MWIS and Met Office Mountain forecasts for the latest detailed area mountain weather outlooks.
Optimised for speedy access to the essential information from Scotland's five snowsports areas on even the slowest mobile connections our new Android app is the easiest way to keep tabs with what's happening on the move and now includes Lowther Hills Ski Club.
We have added a new webcam in Leadhills in conjunction with the Hopetoun Arms Hotel and Lowther Hills Ski Club.
CAIRNGORM: SSC and Loch Morlich webcams are online.
AVIEMORE: Aviemore, Inverdruie and Loch Morlich cams online.
GLENCOE: Summit camera has been replaced. All cams now online.
NEVIS: New Summit and additional Goose camera online. The Braveheart camera is offline pending suitable conditions to fix a power issue, but some of the prep work for getting the webcam back online was possible last Friday.
Glencoe: 01855 851226 www.glencoemountain.co.uk
Nevis Range: 01397 705825 www.nevisrange.co.uk
Lecht: 01975 651440 www.lecht.co.uk
CairnGorm: 01479 861261 www.cairngormmountain.co.uk
Glenshee: 013397 41320 www.ski-glenshee.co.uk