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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Web weather warnings for walkers
Matty Murphy at Snowdon's Environmental Change Network
Matty Murphy at Snowdon's Environmental Change Network
New web pages have been launched providing walkers and climbers with hourly updates of weather conditions in Snowdonia.

The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) website has introduced a live link to a weather station on Snowdon.

The information is displayed on-screen in charts and dials showing temperature, rainfall, and wind.

But its users are warned that it can only offer a guide to an area where conditions can be highly unpredictable.

The weather can become quite treacherous very quickly and can catch out the unprepared walker.
Matty Murphy

Matty Murphy, of the Snowdon Environmental Change Network, said although the site "would be a useful guide... weather conditions can change rapidly and without warning."

He said: "The new web pages will provide people with an idea of the weather before they set off from their homes.

"This should be a useful guide if used in conjunction with a local weather forecast.

"However it shouldn't be considered as the be-all and end-all as the weather can become quite treacherous very quickly and can catch out the unprepared walker."

Climate change

More than 300,000 people try to climb to the summit of Snowdon every year and on average six die and about 70 are injured.

The website will also help scientists collect information on climate change with surveys of plants, animals, soils and water chemistry.

CCW director of science David Parker said: "The site also has a longer term purpose.

"We're working with our partners on the UK-wide ECN.

"As members of the network, we combine our data to map long-term environmental changes, such as the possible effects of climate change and pollution."

"Climate change could change the face of Wales as we know it, and so it is vitally important that we learn and understand more about the changing patterns of our weather.

"But the network gives us much more than that - it gives us a good gauge of changes over the range of records it makes - from temperature and rainfall to vegetation changes and butterfly abundance.

"This will hopefully stand us in good stead as we start to look at and live with the implications of climate change - for both people and wildlife."

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