Response to some of your concerns

I understand that family members of some of the team have been using this blog to keep track of their loved ones. They have expressed concern because of the bad weather. I respond to the concerns below, but the short answer is: Do Not Worry, everyone at Lake Bonney is fine.

How is the weather in McMurdo?

Current Weather from McMurdo Intranet.

Current Weather from McMurdo Intranet.

The weather here is described in terms of three conditions “Condition 1, 2 and 3“. It is still Condition 3 in McMurdo, meaning “good” weather. The wind speed currently is “only” 30 knots, with blowing snow. The visibility is much lower than usual – usually the Royal Society mountain range is very clearly visible from the Crary library, but today it is not. The roar of the wind can be heard inside the buildings.

Still Condition 3 at McMurdo.

Still Condition 3 at McMurdo.

Ob Hill seen from Crary Library. The view is obscured due to blowing snow.

Observation Hill seen from Crary Library. The view is obscured due to blowing snow.

What is the weather prediction at McMurdo ?

The weather is expected to clear-up by monday, and the robot, and Chris and I are scheduled to fly out to Blood Falls camp on Monday afternoon. The remaining  wood for the platform will fly out Monday morning, and the carpenters are scheduled to fly out Tuesday.

How is the weather at the camp?

As of yesterday, the weather at Blood Falls camp, where the rest of the team is, was described as “nice”. Although the camp is only about 60 miles from McMurdo, the weather at the two places is different. I do not know the exact reason for this, but it may be because Lake Bonney is located in Taylor Valley and the mountains break up the winds. For a map see

http://wy.water.usgs.gov/projects/antarctica/htms/map2.htm

I called Mac-Weather 30 minutes back (1:15 p.m. CHC time) and they said that the weather at the camp should be okay. They likely have some snow and winds, but much lighter than that at McMurdo.

Is everyone okay?

I called Mac-Ops (1:15 p.m. CHC time) and they said that our field party checked in with them at 10:35 a.m. and that everyone and everything is okay.

Mac-Ops. A sign on the door says "Voice of Antarctica". They handle radio communication between McMurdo and Field Stations (and more).

Mac-Ops. A sign on the door says "Voice of Antarctica". They handle radio communications between McMurdo and Field Camps (and more).

Does the field team have everything they need?

Yes. Every one that goes out in the field is required to have ECW clothing, survival bag with tent, sleeping bag, food and a stove.  Our field party took everything needed to set up the tents, and the food for the next few weeks, and I believe they are well settled. There is also at least one heated polar haven at the site that serves as the kitchen/common room.  So, be assured, they are fine, have access to plenty of food, warmth and shelter.

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