Storm

November 14, 2009

This is what Antarctica is all about.  A pair of low pressure systems in the area have brought a blizzard to McMurdo Station.  The storm is supposed to last 48 to 72 hours.  It is hard to say how much snow has fallen because the wind blows it all away.  The snow in the air is horizontal.  The wind has been blowing between 20 and 40 knots for about 24 hours now.  Some of the ground is bare but we do have lots of drifting snow.   The temperature is surprisingly warm at +28 degrees.  Visibility is about 1/2 mile.  It could be a lot worse.  At least I wont get lost between the dorm and the galley or work.

The airport is closed.  Maintenance issues with the aircraft and runways will most likely keep the airport closed for 24 hours after the storm ends.  I’m really glad that we are here at McMurdo Station and not camping out at one of the outlying research sites.  We still have all the modern conveniences – hot water, meals, shelter, even TV and internet services.  Having said that, I’m afraid it will be a long boring weekend.  We probably wont have to go to work and we can’t get out and explore.

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