Thar’s a Storm A-Brewin’

The shot above is from my window, looking southeast at a storm advancing upon us. Today’s flight from Christchurch was delayed indefinitely. By late this evening, wind gusts are expected to hit 50 knots and visibility will drop to about a tenth of a mile. It will likely take a couple days to blow over, and then they’ll have to dig the runway out, so it could be a while before we see WinFly flights resume.

But right now, it’s beautiful out there.

As with most photos I’ve taken of Antarctica, this really doesn’t do justice to the light here. But if you click on the photo to embiggen it, you can see a couple interesting things.

On the right side of the photo, just beneath where the ice shelf meets the mountains, you can see a sharp pink line. That’s the sunlight hitting the pressure ridges that mark where the permanent Ross Ice Shelf meets the seasonal sea ice, the two forces grinding against each other and pushing up huge rows of ice.

On the left side of the photo, on the ice, you can make out a zig-zagging pink line. That marks the extent the open water reached back in February.

The photo below shows, without using my zoom, the full view from my window, including a few new arrivals. Yep, I am spitting distance from our helopad, but not worried. Right now they’ve just dragged them out of storage and will be doing some maintenance. Regular flights to field camps won’t start till later in October, after I’ve left. Though I’d be willing to put up with the noise they make if I could weasel my way onto one for a joyride!

A slightly different angle on the view from my window


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