Outdoor weather: small meteorology for on the way

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    Outdoor weather: small meteorology for on the way

    For a safe and successful tour, the weather plays an important, perhaps even the most important role. We introduce you to some very simple features that can help you to assess the weather on the road and the weather forecast. So you can draw the necessary consequences, for example, reschedule the tour at short notice or retreat.

    The Hiking Blog has recently compiled some of the weather forecast based on the signs of nature, in this article I would like to continue the topic and introduce you to some typical cloud images or signs of a change in the weather. 

    A change of weather announces (usually) in advance. Properly interpreted, the signs of weather improvement or deterioration can be detected in good time and contribute to your safety on the mountain.

    Bad weather messengers

    Some cloud formations and signs of weather deterioration are, for example:

    • Morning red: weather deterioration from the west
    • Sunset in westerly weather: bad weather moves east, clear night
    • Halo around sun or moon indicates moist air in altitude, slow weather deterioration
    • Contrails of airplanes stay in the sky for a long time: moist mountain air, slow weather deterioration
    • worsening visibility means damp air, weather deterioration
    • Display of the altimeter rises, the pressure drops: weather deterioration
    • Display of the altimeter falls, the pressure rises quickly: often followed by a pressure drop and weather changes

    Fair weather messengers

    Zirrostratus: Warmfront is in Suit (© sean hattersley)

    Typical messengers of an improvement of the weather are:

    • Contrails of airplanes dissolve quickly: dry mountain air, stable weather
    • improving visibility shows dry air and thus weather stabilization
    • Mist in the valley: stable high pressure weather, provided the fog does not rise
    • Display altimeter drops, the pressure rises slowly and steadily: weather improvement

    No rule without exception

    No rule without exception, especially in the weather! Informs you in the evening before the tour at the meteorological services. For predictions, I use that, among other things Meteogram of Meteoblue and the mountain weather of the Alpine Club.

    European mountain weather websites

    In order to prepare in advance of a tour, reliable and professional sources for (mountain) weather forecasts are important.

    • For many years, the DAV has published a special section on its website with regional and up-to-date, professionally created articles Mountain weather for the Alpine region to disposal.
    • One of the basics for creating the mountain weather at the DAV is the ZAMG, which represents the mountain weather for Austria by federal states.
    • For Switzerland offers MeteoSwiss a detailed weather report.
    • Meteo France provides weather information for the regions: Vosges, Massif Central, Pyrenees, Jura, Alpes du Nord, Alpes du Sud and Corsica
    • In the UK that provides MWIS Information is available for the mountainous areas in Scotland, England and Wales.
    • The official site of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute
    • In Sweden you can do that SMHI consult

    Mountain weather on the phone

    Getting advice directly from the weather expert on expeditions or demanding companies can provide valuable information and save time. The most important telephone numbers are:

    • Weather advice of the ZAMG Innsbruck: 0043- (0) 512-29 16 00
    • DAV weather report: 0049- (0) 89-29 50 70
    • South Tyrol: 0039- (0) 471-27 11 77
    • France 0033- (0) 892-68 02 74
    • Switzerland 0041- (0) 848-80 01 62

    further reading

    Do you have any other typical cloud pictures? Or tips for good weather services?



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