The Mountain Weather Information Service has extended its coverage in England, and will now offer two separate Pennine forecast areas, with the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks each getting bespoke reports.
The Yorkshire Dales forecast region will now also include the North Pennines, previously attached to the Lake District area, to better serve walkers following the route of the Pennine Way northwards beyond Swaledale and Middleton-in-Teesdale.
"This change is designed to better serve the popular centres of hillwalking in northern England with locally specific forecasts dedicated to the individual National Parks" said Garry Nicholson, Forecaster and Project Manager for MWIS.
"Being from the area myself, I know all too well how different the weather can be along the length of the Pennines."
"Every year countless numbers of people head up onto Pennine tops, from Kinder Scout to Bleaklow, the Three Peaks and beyond. Unfortunately, sometimes people come to grief and are caught out by the weather on the hills, which above 600-700 metres can be very different to down in the valleys. The aim of MWIS is to promote mountain safety and warn users about potentially life-threatening weather hazards on the hills."
We asked Garry to explain the thinking behind this expanded service.
"Weather variations along the length of the Pennines are heavily dependent on wind direction", he told us.
"For example in a southwesterly airflow, the Yorkshire Dales can drag in a lot of very low cloud and rain from the Irish Sea, whilst the Peak District can be significantly drier and brighter, lying in the lee of Wales".
The three MWIS forecast areas for northern England will now be as follows:
Lake District: The entire Lake District National Park, taking in all major summits, including Scafell, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, the Langdales and Old Man of Coniston. Also includes the Howgill Fells east of Kendal (the NW extension of Yorks Dales).
Yorkshire Dales & North Pennines: The entire Yorkshire Dales National Park and North Pennines AONB, including the Three Peaks and Cross Fell, also south to Forest of Bowland and Ilkley Moor.
Peak District: The southernmost Pennines, covering the entire Peak District National Park, also extending north to hills accessed from Hebden Bridge, and including the hills immediately north of Manchester.
- See mwis for location info to choose the correct forecast for your area.