Tuesday, November 13, 2007
November 13th, 2007
York County Maine
Latitude: 43.08 N
Longitude: 70.73 W
Wind speed: 21 km/h
Clouds: partly cloudy-20%
Wind direction: NW
Barometric Pressure: falling
Precipitation: 0.10cm (0.04 in)
Well it seems that the weather in Antarctica is not exactly cooperating with the crew trying to establish camp. Some equipment and personnel are stuck in McMurdo station as flights can not get out and stock the WAIS Divide camp. The crew that are in are trying to clean up from last winter which buried the drill dome and other equipment. It does not snow a lot at this location - about 20cm a year but the constant wind quickly buries anything left on the surface. When the new South Pole station was designed, and recently completed, it used old and new ideas to develop building that were less prone to being buried by blowing snow. Regardless though how well buildings are designed there will always be some "digging out" to be done on a regular basis. I hope the crew at WAIS Divide camp are enjoying this bit of quiet before the rest of the crew arrives. By the height of the season there may be as many as 60 people in camp - almost a small city Antarctic style.
It is hard to image that today in McMurdo on Ross Island in the Ross Ice Shelf near the Antarctic coast it is -18 o C with a 20% chance of freezing rain and it was probably colder in the WAIS Divide camp. Very different from the sunny and warm weather we are having here today. On NASA's Earth Observatory site http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages
I found this image of the Ross Ice Shelf which shows Ross Island, on which the McMurdo research station sits. It sure looks pretty barren and cold from the satellite view. Hard to image that there is a research station and a few hundred people down there.
Me, yesterday I found myself a new ski hat to keep my ears warm while I am there. After looking at the satellite image today I am rethinking my new purchase and might have to buy something a little warmer?