#16 — Seven patches of snow survive until winter 2016/2017

The snow that has fallen since the start of November on the high Scottish hills has now done so in sufficient quantities as to be considered ‘lasting’. That is to say, the old patches of snow from last winter (and beyond) have been buried or covered to such a degree that they will now not melt.

In total, seven patches of snow survived. Their locations and dates when lasting snow arrived were:

1. Aonach Beag, An Cuil Choire — 4 November (visited on 5 November)

2, 3, 4 & 5 — Ben Nevis, Observatory Gully — 2 November (seen 4 November)

6 & 7 — Garbh Choire Mor, Braeriach — 1 November

Patches 6 & 7 were not seen for approximately 10 days before lasting snow arrived, but based upon size when last observed, and intervening weather, we estimate these would both have survived.

Patches 2, 3, 4 & 5 at Observatory Gully are also estimates based on the last known photograph of Observatory Gully on 24 October by Alan Halewood (see below). This patch was one, but broke up into various different ones.

It is a reasonable inference that four of these patches survived until winter snows which fell eight days later.

The largest patch to survive was at Aonach Beag, which measured over 55 metres long by the time lasting snow came on 4 November. This patch contained more snow than all the others in Scotland combined.


Survivals since 1996:

August survey numbers:

Survivals as a percentage of August survey numbers

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