In my earlier blog posts I’ve been complaining that the weather here in McMurdo hasn’t been Antarctic enough for my liking but today the weather has “improved” quite a bit and is much more “enjoyable”. We’ve had condition 2 weather on and off all day since lunch.

Many of the buildings in McMurdo have electronic signs like this one that inform you of the current weather conditions so you know if you are allowed to leave the building. Today at lunchtime the weather dropped from condition 3 (normal) to condition 2 meaning that all off-base travel was restricted.

Condition 2 weather occurs when the winds are between 48 and 55 knots (55 and 63 mph), wind chill temperatures are between -75 and -100 F, or visibility is between 100 feet and 1/4 mile.

Today’s condition 2 weather has been mainly due to reduced visibility of less than 1/4 mile. We’ve also had moderately strong winds of 30 to 50 mph. The temperature is still mild at just below 0 F, although combined with the wind our wind chill temperature has been near -30 F. You definitely don’t want to spend too much time standing outside facing into the wind today.

You can see a video of the condition 2 weather here. Make sure you turn up the volume on your computer to get the full sound of the wind.

The first clip in this video is from outside the loading dock of our lab at lunchtime, the second clip was taken while walking back to the lab after dinner this evening and the third clip shows the view from the lab loading dock as the winds were gusting to 50 mph tonight.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for condition 1 weather before I leave in early October.


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