Fort William Water Levels

Rivers 'near' Fort William
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Fort William Water Levels

Post by D.Jackson »

Anyone got any predictions for water levels next week (half-term)? Anyone seen a localised weather forecast (something more reliable than metcheck)?

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Re: Fort William Water Levels

Post by jmmoxon » Links to websites with info on white water, touring, sea & surf.

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Re: Fort William Water Levels

Post by Jim »

D.Jackson wrote:Anyone got any predictions for water levels next week (half-term)? Anyone seen a localised weather forecast (something more reliable than metcheck)?
Localised weather changes too rapidly in the west highlands for any forecast to be particularly reliable, it can be hammering down in Glencoe and sunny in Fort Bill, or vice versa, and the forecasts are too far apart to really capture that.

A better approach is to use where's the water to find out the levels first thing in the morning (not sure what time the update is these days), and scroll through the rainfall radar for the last few hours to see where the heaviest rain was falling, and then merge that knowledge to work out where is most likely to have the best levels by the time you arrive at the river. I can't even remember how we used to manage before 3G, it's so easy these days. Actually, I can remember - we used to get to know people in different parts of the country and call them all up to see if it was raining where they were.....

Seriously, the weather is so changeable it's not worth arranging or cancelling a holiday on the basis of a forecast, but it may be worth bringing some dry weather toys just in case.

On the other hand there are more general indicators that can be useful - if for example there is a big area of high pressure and it is bright and sunny underneath it and the forecasts expect it to hang around all week, then the weather will be unusually stable and probably dry as predicted. If the forecast is full of complex lows and fronts of different temperatures, then you can be pretty certain it won't unravel quite as predicted, but there is a fair chance there are going to be some wet days involved. Check out the synoptic charts and learn to recognise highs, lows, fronts and how the met office expect the pressure and frontal systems to change. I think you can still find these on metcheck, or you can go to the meto website directly.

Anyone who expects to find a TV/internet forecast that is always spot on for the west coast of Scotland is going to be severely disappointed, you will always get a better idea by doing some leg work of your own. Metcheck always forms part of my roundup when trying to decide what weatehr is likely.


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Re: Fort William Water Levels

Post by Becs »

I’ve been looking at the long range forecast for next week on the met office. A group of us are up in Fort Bill too. It’s looking wet for the start of the week, then drying out in the middle then wetter towards the end. Will take bikes and hill kit for the middle of the week and look at the guide book to double check which runs hold there water a tad longer, (Spean, Orchy ect)….Off course nothing is for sure apart from its going to be a chilly one! Luckily we have a log fire and a hot tub who hoo!!

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Paul Stewart
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Re: Fort William Water Levels

Post by Paul Stewart »

Hoping to drive up for the Easter Bank Holiday, will it be worth it, has there been, or forecast much local rain? What are the low water options at current levels?

Any help appreciated, can't afford to waste the fuel for a walking holiday!

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Re: Fort William Water Levels

Post by boater rich »

Everything is too low - we've managed one day on the water doing the Arkaig and Spean Gorge. Etive was a joke - although you could slide down the damp rock. Orchy would be a walk and all the smaller rivers are at summer lows. The moorland is also very dry so any rain will get soaked up by the moss and peat first. We've been biking and walking the rest of this week.


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