Which (mountain) weather service do you trust?

I try to get a summit-specific forecast (for the next day, usually late morning) to include ambient temperature (at summit) and ‘feels like’ temperature. Some don’t post the latter. I know one can calculate the wind chill but I’ld rather the Wx service do the calculation for each hour (interval) so I can make a quick decision on timing of the activation.

I usually get a significant variation in forecast’d temp’s from different weather services, e.g. for Red Screes G/LD-017 tomorrow late morning the ambient/feels like are:

  • NetWeather 15C/14C
  • yr.no 10C/n/a
  • mountain-forecast 7C/4C
  • Met Office [G/LD >800m] 5-8C/n/a
  • MWIS 8-10C/n/a

So, who do you trust?


My own, upon looking out of the window. :grinning:

I use a combination of the MWIS as it gives wind speed at altitudes and the BBC. WX charts. If the info I want is for where I live then I can normally adjust the forecast to how it normally effects our local weather patterns.


That doesn’t really work in the Lake District. The River Kent estuary where I live is well known for having its own micro climate (usually a bit drier than in the LD proper to the north of us). I never cease to be amazed by how it’s (usually) wetter 10 miles north of me in Windermere (@M0NOM land). And we know the temperature and wind at the summit is worse than at the base.


I’d take mountain-forecast as its least favourable, but I wouldn’t really trust any of them.

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The norwegian met office and the state broadcaster has a joint service called yr.no giving detailed weather forcast for places all over the world. If you press the link: SØK and write the name of the summit, you might find the one you plan to activate with temperature, precipitation and wind for each day, but if you press on the day you get it for each hour. Good luck and good activation. LA6FTA Gudleik.
Sorry, I did not see that it already was on your list.


MWIS normally suggests the end of the world is coming.
Met-Office is either 110% spot-on accurate or 200% wrong (no in betweens)
Mountain Forecast is normally close to what happens.


Yeah, the last two times I did Scafell Pike G/LD-001 I went by MWIS and carried all my winter clothes (in July and June) and sweated like a pig all the way up wearing long trousers. At the summit people (well, a couple of guys) were sunbathing in shorts.


Not found one yet - like most of us - that is accurate most of the time.

For planning purposes I use https://www.ventusky.com/ which also has an app.
I may then use mountain forecast / MWIS to check the day before.

Although lately I have been looking more frequently at space weather :sunny: rather than earth weather.

I reckon the Met Office is pretty accurate for G/NP peaks. However, in the Lake District, as you say, each valley has its own climate so I don’t know how well they do there.

+1 for the Met office which if anything is a touch pessimistic in the NP. Our house is at the same height as the Stanmore Summit on the A66 so for the snow at home the state of the A66 is a good guide… Height makes a huge difference I am still surprised how much worse it is on Burhnope Seat (G/NP-003 747m) than at home (340m) - it somehow seems much worse than 400m of additional height…

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Yes, for rain I like to use the BBC ‘detailed map short forecast’ and use the manual slider at the bottom to view the time period I’m out walking.
(C) BBC 2024

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I agree that MWIS is pessimistic. I’ve learnt how to interpret MWIS over the years and can mostly get a good guess out of it. Yr.no has seemed like the most accurate historically but of late, pretty much all of the weather forecasts on the internet have been incorrect.

It seems like you need to read as many forecasts as you can and then take a good look out of the window, then you might be somewhere near!


MWIS is awfully pessimistic. I have started using the met office mountain forecast, which provides summit specific advice. I then look at MWIS as a guide to the worst that can possibly happen.


In VK, I find the Yr.no is a useful website and informative.

Geoff vk3sq

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I most often use meteoblue

for my activations - they’re almost always spot-on with their forecasts. Just enter the name of a town near to your planned activation summit anywhere worldwide, and away you go.

PS - I have no idea why the link here chooses Ashburn as a primary location … maybe the SOTA server is located there? - strange…

I tend to look at MWIS, Met Office hill forecast and the general area Met Office forecast.

Then make a composite decision.

I can also read and interpret surface pressure charts. If I’m really concerned I take a look at these too. It was always a requirement of Mountain Leader quals to be able to make your own forecasts! Not sure if they still require it.


I seem to remember working out a mountain forecast based on the shipping forecast as part of the ML… One thing I find useful is seeing if the forecast is “stable” - so in effect is the same thing being forecast for the weekend on Wed / Thur / Fri. If the forecasts are all over the place it is a good indication that the forecast might not be as accurate. One thing I still find hard to decide is how bad the forecast has to be for me to bail out. Im not a fan of getting the kit too wet so a high probability of rain when I’m on the summit puts me off, as does wind gusts over 30 MPH. Have I gone soft in my old age or is this similar to others?


Was it this one?
[Brian Perkins reading] “Wight, Portland, Plymouth, Ginger Rodgers and Finisterre. Light Flatulence. Some Rain. Very Good”


I have a very similar attitude. Although less bothered about the wind up to maybe 40mph (gusts higher). I’ve got in the habit of just laying my EFHW antenna on the ground in very high winds.

I don’t think I’m going soft. More that I choose to have more pleasant experiences! :blush:


Fundamentally, I need to know if the weather will do one of two things.

  1. Kill me.
  2. Not kill me.

All of the aforementioned forecasts will do this accurately. For everything else, they are just forecasts. Thursday and Fridays forecasts from all of the providers were pretty innacurate for my area of interest. However, they predicted the weather wouldn’t kill me, and it didn’t.