Condition 2 – Round 3

The weather has been a little topsy-turvy this past week and a half. It started to warm up (for Antarctic standards) toward the end of the week last week, and by the weekend it was up to 15ºF, perfect weather for my first run outside (during which I realized that I am not in as good a shape as I thought I was… though I’m going to make the argument that I am in great shape, and my struggling through the ~3.5 miles running around the station resulted from the combination of cold temperatures, unnaturally fresh and clean air, 3 inches of snow over the 2 inches of ice from the winter, and penguins… yes, penguins. They are distracting when you’re looking for them around every corner you turn). Just as I was wrapping up my first outdoor run since 11th grade, however, the weather decided to turn. It got a little windier, it started precipitating ice everywhere, and, well… to make this story short: We went into  Con2  again (if you’ve already forgotten what that means, refer to my previous post regarding weather conditions. And for a while, it looked like the weather would turn to Condition 1, but it never quite made it there… at least not for us folk in town (the road to the “airfield” and all of the camps on the ice were definitely at Con1 for part of the day). I took the opportunity to capture some views of Con2 around the lab, and illustrate for you guys the difference between Con2 and Con3. I hope you appreciate that I stood outside in -40ºF windchill weather just for you guys! Enjoy!

Just minutes after I finished my run, the weather turns colder and a little drab. But the “snow” coming down across town made it look quite wonderful… like the frozen perennial winterland it is. The blue building ahead in the picture is “Building 155 – The Galley.” This is where the cafeteria is, among other things.
The weather turning colder (and prettier… for now). The buildings at right-center of the picture are the gym (where I normally run on a treadmill when the weather outside is dreary), and the McMurdo Coffee House.
This is the view of the NSF Chalet, during Con2 weather, from just outside the entrance to my office in the Crary Lab, looking roughly southeast. The Chalet is roughly 100 ft. away (or a little less) from where I’m standing.
This is the view of the NSF Chalet, during Con3, from just outside the entrance to my office in the Crary Lab, looking roughly southeast.In the far back you can see “Ob” Hill (Observation Hill). Again, the Chalet is roughly 100 ft. away (or a little less) from where I’m standing.
Cold storage milvans outside the Crary Lab. The view is roughly northeast, during Con2, toward the pass that leads to Scott Base, one of New Zealand’s Research stations.
Cold storage milvans outside the Crary Lab. The view is roughly northeast, during Con3, toward the pass that leads to Scott Base.
This is the view, during Con2, out of the windows of the 2nd floor Library at Crary Lab. We are looking roughly South, toward the helicopter (or “helo”) landing pad.
The view, during Con3, out of the Library windows, looking roughly South at the helo landing pad. Helicopters!!
View from the Crary Library windows, during Con2, out toward the frozen Ross Sea, Mt. Discovery, and the Royal Society Range (facing roughly South).
View from the Crary Library windows, during Con3, out toward the frozen Ross Sea (facing roughly South). Mount Discovery (left-center) and The Royal Society Range (right, along the skyline) look tiny in this photo.
Lastly, the NSF Chalet after our third Con2 storm of this season… so far. Someone has a lot of digging to do!
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