15 December, 2001
The weather here at McMurdo has taken a turn for the worst. We are now in the midst of a major snow storm. there are 3 weather conditions here at McMurdo:
Condition 3: Winds are less than 48 knots (1knot=1.15MPH), wind chills are warmer than -75F, and visibilty is greater than 1/4 mile. There are no restrictions to foot or vehicle travel, and no check out is required unless you are going on the sea ice.
Condition 2: has 1 or more of the following: Wind speeds are 48-55 knots, wind chills are -75 to -100F, or visibility is less than 1/4 mile. Foot travel is restricted to the McMurdo complex, and it is recommended that people travel in pairs. Vehicles may leave the complex, but they must check in with the firehouse.
Condition 1: has 1 or more of the following: wind speeds greater than 55 knots, wind chills colder than -100F, or visibility of less than 100 feet. No travel is allowed except "mission critical" travel and that must be approved first. Foot travel between buildings must be done in pairs utilizing safety lines.
Friday night, McMurdo went into condition 2. All the areas outside of town were condition 1. All flights to and from McMurdo have been cancelled.
I woke up at 4:30AM this morning so I would be ready for my 5:26AM broadcast to my class back in NY. It was 11:26AM on Friday there. Getting to the building for the broadcast meant fighting my way through some very strong winds and snow blowing in my face all the way. I had to navigate my way around huge mounds of snow.
Because of the weather, we were not permitted to do any soil sampling. Here are some photos of "the storm"
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