Highlands & Islands

Ben Nevis snow free for first time in 11 years

Ben Nevis
Image caption Ben Nevis is snow free, says snow expert Iain Cameron

For the first time in 11 years there is no snow on Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Across Scotland, only three patches of snow survive in Scotland's mountains - one on Aonach Beag in Lochaber and two on Braeriach in the Cairngorms.

Snow expert Iain Cameron believes that these patches could also vanish, the first time this has also happened since 2006.

A lack of snow last winter has been a major factor, he said.

In 2015, 73 patches of snow were found to have survived on Scotland's hills from the previous winter - the most for 21 years.

Mr Cameron, who surveys snow patches in Scotland's hills and writes annual reports on the white stuff for the Met Office, said: "The situation this year is mainly down to a lack of snow last winter.

Image copyright Iain Cameron
Image caption Iain Cameron in a snow tunnel in a large patch of snow in 2015

"The summer is not a main factor. The ambient temperature over the summer was not much different than it has been before."

He said a cool, dry spell would be needed soon for the surviving patches to cling on.

But he said: "My belief is that all the snow will be gone before the middle of September."

The earliest time all Scotland's snow patches disappeared previously was in 2003 when all had melted away by 24 August.

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