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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blizz Day...!


Outside the new workshop on a sled to be moved to
 Wilkins airstrip during a small blizz.
Blizzards are common in Antarctica and are extremely dangerous, if your out in them.
Some of these blizzards have winds in excess of 100knots or 185kph. Our small blizz the other day topped out at only 85 knots or just over 157kph. The biggest peoblem with blizzards as many are aware, is the clearing of the snow away from vehicles and stairways. The other challenge is that the wind forces the snow up into the engine bays of vehicles including vents so hard that you have to apply an industrial hair drier to the bay to melt the snow. Things like vehicle heaters, window wipers, and hand brakes are never left on or applied over night as these freeze and either burn out or won't release. Blizzard ambiant temps aren't that low as one would expect. What makes them cold is the wind chill factor. The basic rule of thumb when trying to walk in a blizzard is that for every kilo of weight it takes 1 knot of wind to move it. Therefore, a 100 knot wind will blow a 100kg man off his feet. now spikes on your boots make your travel a little more easy. During winter when ambiant temps drop down to -30, a blizzard with winds in excess of 100knots can reduce the temps to -90+ degrees. That's bloody cold. The coldest ambiant temp. recorded in Antarctica is - 89.2C, the coldest place on earth...! 

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