Casey station news is brought to you by the Met Team this week.

Weather phenomena

During the past week at Casey, Mother Nature has provided us with some pretty spectacular weather phenomena. We were firstly blessed with a ‘sun dog’ or scientific name ‘parhelia’. Sun dogs consist of glowing spots around the sun that are created by sunlight refracting off plate shaped ice crystals in cirrus clouds. Sun dogs tend to be most visible when the sun is close to the horizon.

Frost was the second phenomena that we observed during the past week at Casey. Frost forms when an outside surface cools past the dew point. The dew point is the point where the air gets so cold, the water vapour in the atmosphere turns into liquid. This liquid then freezes. If it gets cold enough, little bits of ice, or frost, form. Obviously here in Antarctica the ‘if it gets cold enough’ part of that explanation doesn’t really apply, so on Tuesday when a thick fog rolled in to station, all of the moisture in the air froze and the station turned into a bit of a winter wonderland where everything was coated in ice crystals providing some pretty impressive photo opportunities.

Trip to Browning Peninsula

A small group of people on station were lucky enough to go on a trip to Browning Hut on the weekend. There were some budding photographers amongst the group, plus Nate the chief star gazer (and dieso). They were greeted with a spectacular aurora light show and I think you will find it hard not to be impressed with the photo below.

Midwinter dinner invitations

It is tradition at all Antarctic stations to celebrate midwinter. The celebration occurs on the winter solstice every year and normally consists of a formal dinner, a play and the world-renowned midwinter swim. It is also tradition to send out invitations to the festivities to anyone and everyone from celebrities to friends and families, and the responses to these are read out during the formal dinner. The invitations for this season have been designed by Dainn, our friendly Met Tech and postman. As you can see below he has done a pretty good job. Everyone on station is madly sending out invites as we speak.

State of Origin

One of the most exciting times of the year is fast approaching for those of us on station who were lucky enough to be born in NSW or QLD. It’s almost State of Origin time. So before the battle lines are drawn, before the heckling starts and before we can no longer look each other in the eye, Wayno (integral member of the plumbing division) had the idea to get a QLD v NSW State of Origin photo with everyone kitted out in their jerseys and blue and maroon colours.

Footy tipping

I am running the AFL and NRL footy tipping competitions on station and as the season gets into full swing the excitement here is reaching fever pitch. Everyone is hanging on the results and the all-important weekly ladder update.

There are the Cams (maintenance plumber and spiritual fire chief) that excel at one code (current ladder leader in the AFL) and then there are the Jimmys (maintenance plumber, chief stair cutter and invisible fire starter) and Adams (project electrician and one eyed Queenslander) who sit towards the top of the ladder in both and consider themselves the all-rounders (even though Jimmy may or may not have watched a game of rugby league in his life). And then there are the Katies who just have a stab in the dark, or pick their teams by colours, or who would win in a fight between a tiger and a lion.

Last but not least is the controversy surrounding the fact that the organiser of the tipping comp, (yours truly) Jacob (aka the Cob, Jacob two times or DP Taylor) is sitting at the top of the NRL ladder. Some on station consider this to be a bit dubious. 

Chocolate sorting

A member of our Met Team named Katie has developed a little obsession with the sorting of the fortnightly chocolate bar restock. She gets a little bit too excited about it and also loves an audience when doing her sorting.