December 20 – There’s a storm a brewin’

Lenticular clouds downwind from the Davis Nunataks (looking wnw). Note the “snow snakes” winding across the surface.  This from before the storm described below.

Today Jim made the rounds and told us that the winds were high but we’d try for a half day in the afternoon… he didn’t have to come around for a second time. It was pretty obvious that today would be a tent day. Winds were clocked at 52 mph but could have been higher. The Scott Tents are approved up to 120 knots so we’re doing ok. I have to admit though that having the winds knock everything around in your tent is pretty scary. I went ahead and packed up all my clothes into bags just in case the tent did blow away. And Elena put on some warm clothes in preparation. Things turned out totally alright though. Jim, John, and Rougeux went around to check the tents, pull the lines tight, and make sure everyone was safe. A line snapped on our poo tent but was easily fixed. Unfortunately, a line on the science tent also snapped and won’t be able to be fixed until the weather calms down. So far, we’ve been in the storm for about 24 hours. It’s not too cold, just windy enough to push you over… or me at least.
Ringo said he wasn’t scared but it was enough to make him start to get cautious. He pulled his Big Red out of his vestibule to have it near by just in case. Hosie says the winds remind him of back home in Nederland CO where winds are just like this. He told me that even though he has a newly constructed house, you can feel the house sway with winds. And Paul was very calm though it all – working on his Master’s thesis (Ralph, you should be proud). Paul said it was like watching a storm through a window – you know it’s out there but it’s not really affecting you. John Schutt, Paul’s tentmate, commented on how odd Paul’s behavior was saying “It’s the biggest storm of the season so far and you’re just calmly working on your computer.” John, having roughly 40 years of experience, said that this “isn’t particularly normal” and that these storms usually last 12 hours or 3-4 days.  Considering we’re 24 hours in… we might be looking at a few more future tent days. But we are all hoping that the storm breaks tonight so we can get out tomorrow.
Here’s to seeing more than these 4 swaying walls tomorrow,