Another storm, a newer record . . . kind of
One week after the first storm, we had a second storm. Stronger winds this time, or at least more wind damage. It knocked out power several times (Nathan our lineman does an excellent job repairing lines, but couldn't quite keep up during the storm), tore some roofing off Bldg 125 (which is closed for the winter anyhow), and blew around an awful lot of snow. Of course, we have backup generators, and even though our aging buildings leak out heat and leak in snow at least they are built like tanks and aren't really in much danger from the wind.
Officially, we beat the old record that we just set a week ago - 20 inches for this storm, 14 inches for the last storm, and the previous record for a 24 hour period in April had been 10 inches. That said, while I'm sure the snow gauge is as good as they come, I'm not sure exactly what it was measuring - snow falling on McMurdo, or snow that just happened to be traveling through town. We got some deep drifts and a good bit of snow, but this 20 inches seems to have been less than the 14 inches we got previously.
Of course, snow in Antarctica is like sand in the desert . . . the wind might lay it down one day and pick it up the next. Frequently I see raised footprints above the snow, and today I got some good pictures of raised footprints on the ground. The wind laid down the snow, someone walked on the snow and compressed it where they stepped, and then the wind came along again and picked up all the unpacked snow, scouring the earth clean except for the foot-packed snow. Add a little snow forming in drifts around those footprints, and it's a rather odd looking thing.
There were also two small fires in the Fire House, which disrupted communications at a critical time. It made for an eventful evening.