This week at Mawson: 14 June 2019

The BoM dig in, and Saturday date night (yep, you heard right)

BoM digs their work at Mawson

For the 2019 season, Sundays at Mawson are fast becoming known as ‘Blizz Sundays’, with this past weekend bringing yet another one!

This weekend’s blizz had maximum gusts of 96kts (about 178km/h) and dumped a huge amount of snow across the station. This takes our yearly blizz total to 19 and we're well on the way to passing the yearly mean of 37 blizzard days!

When we talk about a blizzard down south, it’s defined as:

  • Sustained wind at 34 knots (63 km/h) or more persisting for at least one hour;
  • Air temperature below 0ºC; and
  • Visibility below 100 metres.

Walking to and from work on blizz days can prove a bit of a chore when the visibility is down to 10 metres or less and the wind speed is nearing your body weight! That's when feet have a tendency to be blown away from underneath and travelling in the safety of groups of two or three is the only way to go.

Sometimes we have to dig our way into a building after these weather events. This time around I would not have been able to release the daily weather balloon without a little help. Now and then the snow forces its way through the door seals and can leave quite a mess on the inside too.

Leon (Mawson Bureau of Meteorology Technician)

Snow blocking the entry to the Balloon Shed | Mawson Station.
Snow blocking the entry to the Balloon Shed | Mawson Station.
(Photo: L. Hamilton)
BoM Senior Observer Roelof helping to clear snow from the Balloon Shed after another Mawson blizzard.
BoM Senior Observer Roelof helping to clear snow from the Balloon Shed…
(Photo: L. Hamilton)
A job well done! A blizz-free Mawson Station Balloon Shed.
A job well done! A blizz-free Mawson Station Balloon Shed.
(Photo: L. Hamilton)

Leon's Saturday 'Date Night' Dinner

Every once in a while the Chef is willing to be kicked out of the kitchen and let us mere recipe followers loose for a night.

On Saturday, whilst our awesome Chef was enjoying the day off and having a great time riding a quad bike on the sea ice, I took over the kitchen to make our usual Saturday Smoko, followed by a themed ‘Date Night’ dinner featuring:

  • Hand-made ravioli,
  • Confit chicken and lentil salad,
  • Snapper fillets in a tomato, onion and caper sauce, and
  • Panna cotta for dessert.

There was a small hiccup in the morning while preparing Smoko, when a call came in from the powerhouse saying that there was a problem with the generators and the ovens had to be turned off - a perfect example of the ‘A Factor’ (Antarctic Factor)! Despite a bit of mad scrambling, hot Saturday Smoko was still delivered to the hungry Mawson team.

‘Date Night’ with a mostly male crew may have made a few squirm, but the food went down a treat.

Leon (Mawson Bureau of Meteorology Technician)

Leon let loose in the Mawson kitchen.
Leon let loose in the Mawson kitchen.
(Photo: L. Hamilton)
Saturday Smoko at Mawson courtesy of Guest Chef Leon.
Saturday Smoko at Mawson courtesy of Guest Chef Leon.
(Photo: L. Hamilton)
Leon's 'Date Night' Panna Cotta dessert | Mawson Station.
Leon's 'Date Night' Panna Cotta dessert | Mawson Station.
(Photo: L. Hamilton)
Guest Chef Leon's hand-made ravioli | Mawson Station.
Guest Chef Leon's hand-made ravioli | Mawson Station.
(Photo: L. Hamilton)
Saturday themed dinner at Mawson Station: 'Date Night'
Saturday themed dinner at Mawson Station: 'Date Night'
(Photo: L. Hamilton)