13 October, 1997

13 October 97

REGIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY....The HERBIE will blow itself out

today as a low moves west of the McMurdo area. Extensive cloud follows in the wake of the low and will produce further snow and blowing snow at times.

TODAY...Snow and blowing snow gradually decreasing throughout the afternoon with continued cloudiness.

Visibility: 1/16 to 1 mile in snow/blowing snow this morning becoming 1 to 3 miles by mid afternoon.

Wind (knots): South 30 gusting to 50 easing to southeast 20 gusting to 30 this afternoon.

High -09C/+16F. Lowest Wind-chill -34C/-29F

TONIGHT...Cloudy with periods of blowing snow.

Visibility: Unrestricted, occasional 1 to 3 miles in blowing snow. Wind (knots): Southeast 18 gusting to 30.

Low -12C/+10F. Lowest Wind-chill -33C/-27F

TUESDAY...Cloudy with occasional snow and blowing snow.

Visibility: Unrestricted, occasional 1 to 3 miles in snow/blowing snow. Wind (knots): Southeast 15-20 gusting to 30.

High -09C/+16F. Lowest Wind-chill -29C/-20


High Today -13 Low Tonight -20.

YESTERDAY'S EXTREMES - 12 October, 1997

Maximum Temperature: -09C/+16F

Minimum Temperature: -12C/+10F

Peak Wind: 62 KNOTS

Lowest wind chill: -40C/-40F

This morning I went to Helicopter Training. The storm had not completely blown itself out yet, but things got better later in the day. We were instructed in the do's and don'ts associated with helicopter travel. Many research groups utilize helicopter support for transport to and from their research areas in the field. Safety is a very big concern and fatal crashes have occurred.

In the afternoon I was able to help a group of scientists launch a weather balloon. The balloon was launched in very gusty winds. Shortly after launch it hit the ground before lifting upward. Luckily, its scientific monitoring equipment was not damaged and the launch was a success. The balloon will be used to measure ozone concentrations in the atmosphere. I took some nice photos.

The preliminary measurements on the respiration rate of starfish tube feet tissue were encouraging. It was decided to try to go forward and make respiration measurements on individual tube feet. Today, six tube feet were taken and placed in tiny respiration chambers. They will remain there several hours while oxygen is consumed. After this incubation period the amount of oxygen remaining in the chamber is measured with very sensitive instruments. These measurements can then be compared to measurements of chambers which contained only water. The difference between the two represents the amount of oxygen consumed by the tube feet cells.

Things to ponder:

1. A starfish has many tube feet on its underside (ventral surface). They work much like the hydraulic system which operates the brakes of an automobile. Starfish and sea urchins belong to a group of invertebrate animals known as Echinoderms (spiny skinned). Find a book on Echinoderms and learn more about how the tube feet work.

2. Some starfish may use their many tube feet to help pry open a clam or oyster. The clam has a muscle system which it uses to keep its two halves tightly closed. It is able to withstand the starfish attack at first but in the end the starfish usually wins. Why?

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