Our final day at Oliktok Point was a fairly quiet one.  As the forecast predicted, the winds kicked up to around 20 mph this morning, and didn’t get any better from there.  Doug and I made an attempt to get a plane up this morning, but a combination of wind, visibility, and aircraft issues… Read More


One thing that the Arctic is known for is stratification.  This is when the atmosphere is organized into a number of layers, with little mixing between layers.  For example, often the Arctic surface cools very effectively through radiation but the air that blows in overhead is from areas that are warmer, causing a temperature inversion… Read More


Today was a beautiful day on the North Slope!  Low clouds formed over Oliktok Point, replacing the clear weather we’d seen yesterday.  This set up a very interesting scene, with the clouds supported by an air layer that was not the same one as was being observed at the surface.  A perfect reason to deploy some… Read More


  When we first arrived at Oliktok a week and a half ago, it was strangely summer-like.  No snow, no ice, just bare tundra.  However, the last few days have dropped some snow, and last night as we were completing our last flights, things started cooling off.  With the clouds disappearing and the sun only… Read More


  It was another fantastic day of flights at Oliktok Point!  With the weather continuing to provide opportunities for flight, Doug and I took full advantage and completed another six flights.  While six flights might not seem like a lot, several of these were starting to push 45 minutes in length.  In addition, the rapidly… Read More


  Winds were down this morning, as forecast.  I have to admit, when I first got outside this morning I wasn’t nearly as excited as I should have been given the low winds.  Instead of winds, we had freezing drizzle and fog, and if there is one thing that is harder to fly in than… Read More


    Arriving in Northern Alaska in October and not seeing anything white was quite a shock.  Having it stay that way for a week was even more amazing.  But today we finally started to get a taste of winter, with slightly colder temperatures and snow!  To be honest, the team couldn’t be happier to… Read More


Watching the winds this morning was torturous. For the past few days, the forecast has painted today as the day that things would begin to calm down. That was not obvious this morning, as winds were still in the 25+ mph range, with gusts to 45 mph. Was the forecast a bust? It’s quite painful… Read More


Matt Shupe signing on to the Oliktok blog for the first time, and looking forward to some great days here on the North Slope. I’ve been to the Arctic many times, under many conditions…. and it never stops providing amazing experiences. The science has been pretty slow around here, with high winds keeping the tethered… Read More


The waiting is the hardest part Every day you see one more card You take it on faith, you take it to the heart The waiting is the hardest part   Sometimes life imitates music lyrics perfectly.  The ones above, from Tom Petty’s “The Waiting” are pretty much spot on for our current situation.  The… Read More