We had three LC-130s en route to the South Pole and it was just announced that all of them returned to McMurdo, due to bad weather here and a bad forecast in McMurdo.
I just walked out here to BICEP before the first plane was due in and the visibility was indeed extremely poor. It was going in and out all day, but there was a pretty good chance up until lunch. Just when we sat down in the galley we could watch the weather deteriorating and with it the mood of the winter-overs who have been trying to get out for some time now.
Update: It turns out that the weather in McMurdo deteriorated very rapidly yesterday. The last airplane to leave McMurdo safely made it back there. The second one, which had most of the passengers on board, had a bit of a hard time landing. To quote one of the passengers: “The weather was awful at landing with 37 knots cross winds and the pilot had to try 3 times before nailing a landing, 1/2 the plan barfed, it was fun and tragic. I am amazed we managed to land”. The third South Pole bound plane, the one that took off first and actually made it here and circled for a while, had to reroute to Terra Nova Bay. A fourth LC-130 had to land at Terra Nova Bay as well on its way back from the WAIS camp.
[tags]Antarctica, South Pole, LC-130, Weather, WAIS, Terra Nova Bay[/tags]