Condition 2 Weather at McMurdo

DSC00313The wind moaned against the dorm room window as if it were frost bitten and begging to come inside. It whipped icy snow against the window- a sound so clear that I could almost count the snowflakes.

Outside, it is “Condition 2” weather. (Or con-2, for short.) In Antarctica, weather is always rated as a Condition 1, 2, or 3. Three is the safest weather: lower winds, warmer temperatures, good visibility. One is the most dangerous: high winds, bitter wind chills, and white out conditions. People are not allowed outside during a con-1. If they are stranded in a gym or another building when a con-1 is called, they must call the firehouse and state their location and the firehouse may be able to send an escort to get them to safety.

On the other hand, since con-2 is safe-enough and simply unpleasant, people like to go to the bar to wait it out.

My roommate informed me that she was a Winterover employee as she threw on hot pink tights and short skirt. She zipped up her hoodie and said “That means I’m flying home soon- and we need to go get a drink.”

She tossed up her hood and asked her friend if she was coming. “I need to grab big red. I don’t go out during con-2 without big red,” she replied walking out the door. (Big red is the name for our USAP issued parkas.)

My roommate looked over at me. “So you’re coming?”

I started changing out of my pajamas and said okay- I’d meet them at Gallagher’s.

My roommate left without her jacket, so I figured it would be a pretty short walk.  What I didn’t take into account is that all the buildings look the same, and I had no clue which building was Gallagher’s.  I did make a video of my attempt- it only took me three tries before I finally found the bar… which was only about 30 feet to my left.

Looking like a cartoon in full ECW gear!
Looking like a cartoon in full ECW gear!


Update:  The weather has cleared up and the internet is finally fast enough to post videos online- click here to see the video from my attempted trip to Gallagher’s!  Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “Condition 2 Weather at McMurdo

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