Blizzing in the balloon shed

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This week at Casey: 27 June 2014

This week started with a blizzard (winds over 100 knots and 200 kilometers per hour with nil visibility) which left the outside of the balloon shed clean of snow. This is great as the normal situation is that the duty observer has to dig out the balloon shed door in order to launch the morning balloon.

However, this blizzard had a surprise in store for us. While there was no snow on the outside, the balloon room itself was full of tons snow which took Stewie and Gunny most of the day to move, and that was with the aid of a Herman Nelson (industrial heater). The facility was rendered safe by isolating the hydrogen gas and disabling the fire alarms.

Typically, a following blizzard 24 hours later filled the shed up again but this time it was Steve and Dan who cleared the snow.

Unfortunately the midwinters swim has had to be delayed due to weather (and the blizz blowing away most of our sea ice and depositing a greater than metre thick layer so we could not see what remained).

Photo of the weather statistics on a phone at Casey station, Antarctica
Blizz in progress
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
The north entrance of the balloon shed with snow either side, Casey station.
You beauty - looks clear
(Photo: Kevin Gunn)
West end of the balloon shed, Casey station.
Yep, no blizz to clear away here
(Photo: Kevin Gunn)
Blizz inside the balloon shed, Casey station.
Hmm, I could have sworn that wasn't there yesterday!
(Photo: Kevin Gunn)
Inside the balloon room, Casey station
I don't remember putting in a 500mm deep white carpet!
(Photo: Kevin Gunn)
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