Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grounded by snow - oh the irony!

We came to Antarctica to study snow, but now it is snow that is keeping us from doing our research! We are grounded today because of a snowstorm that blew in overnight. If the helicopter pilots cannot see the ground, they cannot make a safe landing. So, no flying when visibility is low. You can see in this picture of the grounded helicopters that the snow does not fall and blanket the landscape. We generally get wind when snow falls here, so it collects behind rocks and ridges. This is the same thing we will be studying in the Dry Valleys, which is about 1 hr away by helicopter (when we can fly...).

Luckily there are plenty of things we can do to remain constructive and busy... Here's one (besides writing papers, lectures and homework assignments) - in the marine labs there is a touch pool where visitors can reach in and touch some of the animals from the local marine habitats (yes, under the ice!).
Here's to hoping for better weather tomorrow!


  1. I love learning from Dr Mike

  2. Mike,

    Hopefully the weather has improved for you! Good luck - watch out for the killer penguins!