A Gale

So far the strongest winds we have had were around 34 kts, just on the limit of being a gale. I documented the launch of a weather balloon maybe two weeks ago in those conditions. But today, we awoke to average winds of 47 kts gusting up to 65 kts. The modules were shaking and swaying, even the big red one which weighs several hundred tons. The snow was being blown over the tops, while flags and powerline placements were put to the test. In these conditions travel outside the modules is not allowed, so the balloon launch was out of the question. Due to the funnelling effect on the bridge we couldn’t cross that either, so I couldn’t even get to my office. So I did what any respecting winterer would do: I made pancakes for smoko. Once the wind had eased off we went across to the science modules via the outside doors, as the winds were around 35 kts and still too high for travel across the bridge. Wearing full skidoo suits and facemasks it was fine. Soon after the wind dropped back down to 10 kts and we went about our normal business. It was definitely exciting to experience this weather, but I wonder what else the Antarctic winter has in store for us.

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