The unusually settled weather we’ve having since our arrival at Scott Base finally gave way this weekend with the first storm of the winter. As a result, the weather has been declared Condition 1, meaning no off-base travel. Most of us have stepped outside to get a feel of the 100-130 km/h (60-80 mph) winds that have been buffeting the base for the last 36 hours, but otherwise we’ve all been stuck inside watching the storm through windows that flex disconcertingly and checking the weather station dials frequently.
The winds have been consistently out of the South, which will probably drive a lot of the newly-formed sea ice out of McMurdo Sound. Once the weather clears, we will be keen to go up one of the hills near base to get a look out to the North to see check what the sea ice edge looks like. There is a small chance that some of the thicker, multiyear ice could become detached and drift away, which would be good for us as it would mean we would have to travel less distance to find young ice later in the season.
Until the winds ease up though, we’ll just have to remain patiently on base. It’s a tough job, being stuck in a well-heated, spacious base with 5 meals a day, but someone has to do it. And we’ve got to eat well and keep our strength up because there’s going to be plenty of snow to shovel when the storm ends. As the photo of our front door shows, we won’t even have to go outside to shovel some of it!
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Tuesday, 14 April 2009 20:31
First stormWritten by McMurdo Sound Winter Sea Ice
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