Thursday, November 24, 2011

Will the Real Antarctica Please Stand Up

We slid into Pole on greased rails so to speak.  It was the best weather at both McMurdo and Pole for the season as we are headed into Summer Solstice in December.  Above zero in McMurdo, 20 something below here at Pole.  Here the sky was mostly clear, a lovely blue, much like the Arctic blue sky, and could see to the horizon.  Someone mentioned to me that this was the first at had been this clear, too.  Temperatures dived over the next few days to 57 below and came slowly back up, crossing 40 below with Fairbanks where temperatures dipped that low still with beautiful clear weather and modest winds.

This week were were running 20 below but a low pressure system was moving in and the relative altitude kept climbing.  Wed. Nov 23rd started clear but the horizon started to gray out with blowing snow and ice crystals.  By dinner time, the wind was very strong blowing crosswise to the station and visibility was way down.  It produced quite a bit of drifting over the night.  But the visibility effect was only at the surface.  Above, the sun was still punching through to make shadows so seeing the eclipse the next day was still hopeful.

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