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December 21, 2006

Weather Day

Well Tuesday was a bit on the cloudy side. Compare the two photos. Where did the mountains go? In conditions like those on the right, we stay on the ground. Coffee and cookies anyone?

Antarctica is notorious for "flat light". Most downhill skiers are familiar with the poor depth perception that comes with diffuse overcast lighting and snow on the ground. Its a case of white-on-white. Flat light makes it difficult to determine relative movement, height-above-ground, and terrain fluctuations. This alone won't keep us grounded, but obscure the horizon with a little blowing snow, ice fog, or clouds and you have all the ingredients for spatial disorientation. In conditions like these skiers fall down and well, so do helicopters. Best to stay put, enjoy a nice hot beverage, and watch the cargo stack up. With one-day weekends down here we're often thankful for the extra rest day.

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