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South Pole Web Camera is Online

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

It is now bright enough for the NOAA web camera on top of the ARO building to operate once again. The picture is still a little grainy but should improve in the next couple of weeks as it brightens up here at the Pole. So head on over to the weather page and check out what conditions are like in real time.

The Sun is Winding Down at the South Pole

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

On my way out to DSL I noticed an interesting cloud formation. We don’t see clouds very often. So, this is always something nice to look at. The sun is already at a low elevation of 5.5°, which added a spectacular light effect. I decided to go back inside and get my tripod and digital SLR camera. I spent half an hour to take a number of shots, which I processed into high dynamic range images.
Dark Sector with MAPO and DSL

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The Bad Weather Continues

Monday, November 5th, 2007

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]

Weather Delays

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Another group of winter-overs is about to leave and the weather hasn’t been cooperating. Yesterday we had more than 20 knt winds and the visibility was pretty bad.

A lone researcher is making his way back to the Station.

Today it looks much better here, but things aren’t that great in McMurdo and the forecast isn’t that good for South Pole either. The first flight of the day is already canceled and the others keep getting delayed.

The flight schedules isn't looking too good.

We’ll see how the toasty winter-overs will deal with more delays. I’m just glad I am not leaving yet.

Update:All flights got canceled until Monday. [tags]South Pole, Antarctica, LC-130, Weather[/tags]

Current South Pole Weather Page

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Looks like the little weather display I added to the sidebar a few weeks ago has become quite popular and I have gotten a number of emails about it.

I am proud to present the new and improved version. If you are too impatient to wait for the data to scroll by, you can go straight to the weather page and get all the info in one place. I also added the current Antarctica satellite image and the NOAA webcam to the page.

You’ll get to the weather page by either clicking on the weather scroll on the right or by clicking the link in the Page menu on the right.

Current South Pole Weather

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

The current satellite image from the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center:



You can see what the conditions are actually like on the NOAA webcam (updated every 15 minutes when we have a satellite link): NOAA LiveSouth Pole Webcam

Get the Current South Pole Weather Right Here

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
Up-to-the-minute weather forecast.

Every time I call my mom she asks me about the weather. So, I guess people are quite interested in that. Truth be told, I usually just make up a number. Most of the time I honestly don’t care. During the winter it is dark, cold, and maybe windy. Not much change. I have to go out to the telescope no matter what and there is really not much of a point in keeping up with the current weather.

Until this year the Antarctic Program had a forecaster sitting in McMurdo who would come up with a weather forecast for the next two days. Somehow this changed this year. The forecast is now made by some military person in one of the Carolinas. Initially it did have some entertainment value because it was mostly wrong. At some point most of us stopped caring and the forecast in the galley just read “Mostly dark, pretty cold, breezy” for most of the winter.

I added a little panel with the current South Pole weather to the sidebar on the right, for those of you who care. During the winter the Station meteorologists send out an observation report every six hours. The data doesn’t get any more current, no matter what other web sites make you believe. The observation frequency increases to once an hour during the summer (the flying season, to be exact).

First Storm of the Season

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Today I woke up to find my window covered in snow. We are having 20 plus knots winds. It is really bad for CMB observations, but it is a lot of fun to be outside.

First Storm of the Season
A heat wave and even the wind has died down to 17knt. The South Pole at 20 knt winds. You can just about make out the Dome from the new Station
Click on an image to launch the gallery (4 pictures)