Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Snowy April

After the last post we got another big storm, breaking the record for snow in a 24 hour period in April again. 20 inches this time. Snow generally doesn't just fall here, though. It's so windy that we get ten foot drifts here and there, with little snow in between. I don't know about the statistics, but I think I've seen more snow in the last two weeks than in the previous twenty-some months on ice. There is a drift the size of a school bus in the driveway to my shop-- about ten feet high and forty feet long.

It snowed all day yesterday and all last night, and it wasn't particularly windy. I had to wade through ankle-to-knee-deep snow to get to work this morning-- very unusual for McMurdo. This whole continent gets on average less than two inches of precipitation a year, so it's a big deal that we've gotten about four feet of snow in the last two weeks. Some drama in the last storm, too-- we had two fires in the firehouse, and off-continent communications were down for 16 hours, due to power failures.

Some time in the last couple of days (I lost track) was the last sunrise. We still have a bit of light in the middle of the daytime, but the sun is no longer getting above the horizon. This weekend will be the first Polar Plunge of the winter. The Kiwis will hack a hole in the sea ice so we can jump in the sea water. Woo Hoo!

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