Weather Settle
If you're visiting the Dales you'll probably want to know what the weather will be like but it's won't be crucial. If you're coming to climb or bike you'll definitely want to know and if you are coming caving you'll want to know as much as possible about the weather. 

Weather information that is required for caving can be split into three requirements: previous weather, current weather and forecast weather. Generally weather information via newspapers, radio and television is not always detailed enough for caving. Currently websites provide the most up-to date and useful method of getting a forecast. 

Forecast weather

The first step is to get a forecast, I use the Met Office, Meteo Group and Between them they have detailed forecasts, rain radars and pressure charts and have proven to be reliable. They also provide good mobile phone services, in particular the Meteo Group app. I use all three as a check. The Met Office provides a weather warning service which can be accessed through various channels, personally I use the email alerts.

When using a website, one crucial step is to check the location of the forecast. For example, if you are caving near Ingleton and using the Met Office forecast for Yorkshire and Humber then the forecast will be biased towards the eastern part of Yorkshire. Not good if the weather is coming in from the west. It is also important to check that the location you searched for matches the location of the observation. For example, if you search for Ingleton using MeteoGroup's weathercast it will be based at Carnforth, on the coast.

It is important to remember that a forecast is just that: an informed guess. 

Previous weather

The next step is to check recent rainfall to get an idea of ground water levels. The rainfall radar on the Met Office website provides the last 6 hours of data and the MeteoGroup provides 2 hours. MyLocalWeather provides data for various timescales and is particularly useful because you know exactly where each station is. This is my personal choice.

The Cave Diving Group checks water levels every day at various locations.

Current weather

The final step is to check the forecast was correct and to see what the weather is doing now. MyLocalWeather is not a forecast, it tells you exactly what is happening now. This is useful even if you are in the area because the weather can differ between Dales.

The importance of choosing the right location

Look at the following chart. The weather stations are in west to east order. In particular, look at the rainfall differences on the 24th and 26th.

Other useful sites

The Enviroment Agency monitors rivers levels at various locations.

A large list of weather related links.

Live webcam of Settle weir