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8 November, 1999

Well, you're reading this journal entry so you know what that means. "Strike two" on my attempt at the flight to Cape Roberts. I got all dressed in my ECW gear and started to the helo pad. The weather was clearing so I was hopeful. But alas, the flight was cancelled due to weather along the route. I might have another chance on Wednesday. The good news is that when I woke up this morning there were clear blue skies. But, wow, was it windy. It seemed windier then yesterday when we had peak winds of 70 MPH! As I looked out over the frozen Ross Sea towards the ice runway, the surface was completely obliterated with snow. It was weird to see clear skies and a whiteout at the surface. Later in the day, the winds slowed down a bit, but it is still a bit breezy. Planes and helos are flying. A flight from Christchurch is on its way and LC-130's are headed to field camps and the Pole.

The forecast today called for a high temperature of 30F, almost to the freezing point of water. That's pretty warm for here. But, of course temperature only tells part of the story. The constant wind makes it fell much colder to a person out in the weather. This is due to what we call The Wind Chill Factor. The wind chill factor or wind chill index is a number which expresses the cooling effect of moving air on human skin at different temperatures. It indicates, in a very general way, how many calories of heat are carried away from the surface of the body. The Antarctic explorer, Paul A. Siple, developed the Wind Chill index in 1939. Siple was the youngest member of Admiral Byrd's Antarctica expedition in 1928-1930 and later made other trips to the Antarctic. Siple Dome, site of a scientific field camp on the ice cap, was named after him.

Wind chill factors are supposed to measure the effect of the combination of wind speed and temperature upon human comfort. Wind chills can be determined by using a chart or they can be calculated using one of several formulas. Here is one that can be used:

Wind chill = 91.4 - (0.474677 - 0.020425 * W + 0.303107 * SQRT(W)) * (91.4 - T)

where W = wind speed (mph) & T = temperature (F)

However, these determinations are only estimates of the effect on a person. Each person will be effected differently. Also, there is nothing exact about wind-chill. It is an estimation of apparent temperature. It is important to remember that wind does not have the same effect on inanimate objects. For example, if it's 20F outside with a 20 MPH wind, the wind-chill may make it feel to a person like -9F, but your car will still be at a temperature of 20F. People who are sheltered from the wind are also not affected by wind-chill.

It is important that when you are out in the cold that you protect yourself from the wind. Warm clothing alone is not enough to protect you from heat loss on a cold, windy day. The ECW gear we were issued includes wind pants, a wind proof hat and the parka serves as an effective windbreaker. However, these don't help you from having to walk head long into a 70-MPH wind on your way to lunch! It's a lot of work!

Today's featured CRP Team Members are three of the sedimentologists on the project. They are Malcolm Laird of Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tim Nash from the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences in Lower Hutt, New Zealand and Ross Powell of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. Sedimentologists are some of the first scientist to examine the core when it comes out of the ground. There are sedimentologists at the drill site at Cape Roberts who initially examine and describe the core. The core along with their descriptions are then sent to Crary Lab where another group of sedimentologists examine and describe the core before the scientists form the other disciplines decide which parts they wish to sample. The sedimentologists describe the physical appearance and texture of the rock (sandstone, mudstone, conglomerate, etc) and make a first determination as to the environment in which the sediments were deposited.


The flags were straight out in the wind today at the weather office.


Blowing snow in the streets of Mactown.


Clearing the road to the ice runway. Note how far the snow is being blown by the wind.


A Wind-chill Chart


From left to right: Malcolm Laird, Tim Nash and Ross Powell examining a new set of core samples.


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