Flash floods

A special feature of the Cairngorm Mountains is their flash floods. The accumulation of snow on the hills and in the corries melts rapidly, and funnels itself down steep narrow gorges, as fast roaring torrents.

Similar torrents are experienced along generally quiet burns (small rivers), after heavy summer downpours in the mountains. The burns which act in this way are called ‘flashy’ rivers or burns.

Research shows that these summer storms are highly unpredictable, in terms of both location and severity, but are especially prevalent in the Cairngorms National Park and the Southern Uplands of Scotland. In other words, the burns in the Parkrise more quickly than most other mountain burns in Scotland, e.g. the Gaick burns, Tarf, Eidart, Allt an Dubh Ghlinne, Mark and Allt Mor.