Antarctic Weather in Illinois

Antarctic Weather in Illinois

Currently (Tuesday at 1:00 pm) at McMurdo Station, Antarctica the weather is…




Wind Chill

Skies: Mostly clear
Visibility (miles): Unrestricted

Winds (knots): ENE @ 13

Station Pressure: 29.195 in.
Updated: Jan 22, 2013 10:11 AM

This morning (Monday) in my hometown of Crystal Lake it was…

Crystal Lake weather

I took this photo on my walk to work this morning.


Workers were enjoying a nice day to work outside and paint the Chapel of the Snows. 


While folks back home are shivering and complaining about the cold, we’re having a beautiful, sunny day here in Antarctica!  It’s definitely gotten colder compared to a few weeks ago, but it’s still very pleasant, as long as the wind doesn’t blow too much. 

As a matter of fact, the nice weather had made it the Pegasus ice runway too soft for some aircraft to take off with full loads of fuel, and many fights were delayed or canceled.  Out at the WISSARD Subglacial Lake Whillans site, the snow was very soft and not packed down enough, making it difficult for the ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules to take off after dropping some of the WISSARD personnel off.  They had to shovel around the skis to prepare for take off.


As those of you who have been following my blogs all along know, our beautiful days last week gave way to a big snowstorm on Friday night and Saturday.  The town turned completely white again. Here are some of my favorite photographs from the snowstorm.





On Sunday, the sun was shining and McMurdo Station looked awesome with a blanket of white covering everything.  Icicles hanging from buildings looked jagged and beautiful.  Observation Hill was so majestic, standing as a giant tower of white over McMurdo Station.




All of the dusty dirt roads were covered with snow, and because it’s gotten colder…many areas are still covered with snow today.




Lots of people at the station got outside to cross country ski, play in the snow, or build a snowman.


You can see how much snow accumulated on the crates sitting outside.


Today, I’m excited to report that with good weather the past two days, almost all of the WISSARD team is safely at the SLW field camp. The remaining group (I think there are seven of us left) is scheduled to fly to the field camp tomorrow morning on a Basler, which is a smaller cargo plane.  Not much cargo is left to be transported, but there are too many of us for the even smaller Twin Otter aircraft.  Excitement is building…will we get out tomorrow or not?  Mother Nature will decide.

I’ve already rushed around this morning doing interviews, so I can have blogs posted while I’m away at the WISSARD site.  I’ll be away from McMurdo Station for about five days or so, but there will still be plenty to read about on this blog.  Keep reading and learning! 

I’ll have heaps of photos and stories about the drilling and progress at the WISSARD camp when I return to McMurdo. 

And, as so many people from home have said to me in the past two months…STAY WARM!  Wear your ECW (extreme cold weather) gear and ENJOY!  Here’s one last photo from today..the open water in McMurdo Sound.  The hole gets bigger every day!


42 responses to “Antarctic Weather in Illinois

  1. Hi Betty,
    I just got home from work and my car read -2 at 1:15 am here in Crystal Lake! Though I’m not much of a snow lover (that goes for everyone in my family except my son!) we would rather have the beautiful snow from your pictures than the blah that we have with our cold!
    We have been reading your posts daily. Savannah’s favorite was the penguin’s last week. Lucas enjoys seeing anything with the equipment. Can’t wait to hear about your days coming up at WISSARD,
    Tanya Kurkowski

    • Hi Tanya! So nice to hear from you…please tell everyone at your house hello from me, especially a hug for Savannah! Stay warm up there….we have another beautiful day here. 🙂

  2. Hi, your pictures and copy are great as always. I don’t know how you can put together such interesting and info filled articles each day. Thank you. It is -4 here this morning in Barrington. It appears the Antarctic is having a heat wave compared to us. Although we will be warm again soon. Hope you get to join the rest of the WISSARD group tomorrow!

    • Hi Kathy,
      Still here in McMurdo…flights just keep getting delayed, but that is not unusual in Antarctica. Flexibility is the name of the game. I don’t sleep much….that’s why I can get so much done each day. That, and I have a HUGE desire to keep learning and teaching everyone else, too. Keep thinking positive thoughts for WISSARD! We should get down to Lake Whillans tomorrow night or Saturday (our time) morning. 🙂

    • I love, love, love the snow Sal….I know you guys haven’t had much this winter. It’s so beautiful here with the Transantarctic Mountains in view most days. 🙂 Stay warm up there! You need my ECW (extreme cold weather) gear!

  3. Hi Betty,
    Maybe you can bring some of that snow back to Chicago when you come (ha, ha!) You have been so diligent with your blogs so thank you for all of the great, interesting information. And the pictures almost make us think that we’re right there with you. Stay warm and have fun (although we don’t need to tell you that!) Can’t wait to hear more!

    • Hi Debbie and Lauren! Great to hear from you again. Thanks for the positive feedback on the blogs. I try to include a ton of facts and photos each day to keep everyone learning! I’ve got some great blogs coming up! 🙂 Stay tuned for more news from the ice.

  4. Well….it’s going to be close to 80 here today! The “snowbirds” (the real ones) are busy gathering pieces of this and that for their nests in our palm tree. We continue to enjoy your beautifully written and interesting blog and the photos. I looked at the penguin video over and over again!

    • Hi April and Steve! 80 degrees….I forget what that’s like! And, I also forget what it’s like to see birds, other than the pesky skuas around town. I hope I see more penguins soon…those are birds I could watch for hours! (and I’m like you…I could watch the videos over and over!) Stay in touch…miss you both! 🙂

  5. Dear Betty,
    Thank you for the beautiful pictures that you are sharing with us. I like the fact that it is sunny after it snows. Here in Zurich we also have snow but it is often overcast. Today the sun came out and I went to the zoo and I saw an elephant eating snow :). Have a fun flight!

    • Hi Giannina! An elephant eating snow….now there’s a picture I’d like to take! it is SO bright and sunny again today…blue sky, nice temperature in the 20’s. We didn’t get to fly out to the WISSARD site again today. Delays are frequent here, and we have to be patient. Mother Nature gets the last word and sometimes conditions just aren’t right. Safety is the most important thing. Stay in touch. xo Miss you!

  6. Personally I love the snowman. Her hair looks like mine this morning while blow drying it. Too much dry heat and static electricity. Fingers crossed you get to fly out tomorrow. I am flying to Frankfurt today so at some point we will both be in the air.

    I met Judy Barry yesterday in Oak Brook. She looks so incredible and very young. I only wish I looked so youthful. We had lots of laughs with most of the laughs coming from her stories. It was just like slipping back in time with here and we did not miss a bit. She even brought some photos from our Phi Mu days. What a hoot. and we thought we were so stylish!

    I look forward to seeing her again with the other Phi Mu sisters. I think of you often and wish I could be somewhere in the world with you sitting on a bed and just talking through the night. Of course we’d also have a beer or glass of wine (or 2) during our girl talk time.

    Enjoy the rest of your Antarctic experience. I am thinking good thoughts for good weather so you can travel to the test site.


    Kathy Sent from my iPad

    • Hi Hunter! Great to hear from you. I’ve been keeping busy interviewing people, taking photos, and writing my blog. I spend a lot of time each day writing. I took a great hike yesterday…look at the blog for January 22nd. FUN! I hope you are studying hard and having fun as well. Stay warm up there! 🙂

  7. Hi Mrs. Trummel! I was wondering why the weather changes so fast in Antartica? See you soon! From Jordan

    • Hi Jordan and Hannah,
      I’m not an expert on weather, but I do know that the Southern Ocean influences our weather here, and strong winds can also make temperatures drop quickly. I’ll have to learn more about that, so I’m glad you asked me the question. 🙂 You can do some research, too, and let me know what you find out.

  8. Hi Mrs. Trummel! Jonathan Rodriguez from Mrs. Felz’s class wants to know if the days are getting longer or shorter down there? Stay warm Mrs. Trummel!

    • Hi Jonathan (and Becky),
      Great to hear from you. It’s still 24 hours of sunlight each day down here. But we are seeing some longer shadows, which indicates the position of the sun is changing. It will be a while yet before we see any changes in daylight, but once they come, those changes will be pretty quick. Thanks for your question! 🙂 See you back at Husmann!

  9. Thats ironic. I can’t believe that the temperatures down there are warmer than up here. By the way it was nice to speak to you.

    • Hi Colin,
      It was SO great to see you guys last week. I miss everyone at Husmann Elementary School….and I’ll be excited to get back and talk with you all in person! Stay warm!!!!! 🙂

  10. This morning it was -4 when I woke up at 6:30 am!
    I love the snowman he is so cute! We have this brick making machine and my brother and I made and igloo! It was really fun and I was hoping to do it
    this year, but even though it’s been so cold there Is no snow! 😦
    We miss you!

    • Hi Rebekah,
      A snow brick fun. Now you just need the SNOW Wish I could send you some from here! i know you have very low temperatures right now….I hope you are staying warm. I bet you’ve had indoor recess a lot. Have fun and I’ll see you soon. 🙂

  11. Hi Mrs.Trummel! How are you? Thats pretty cool that Illinois weather is the same in Antarctica! What is the windchill there? Have buildings fallen from too much snow?

    • Hi Josh,
      I hope you are staying warm up there in Illinois. I hear you guys had indoor recess a lot this week. The windchill here was still warmer than what you had the other day. I think ours was about 5 degrees ABOVE zero. Our building are very sturdy here….they are built for this tough environment. Keep reading my blogs! See you soon! Mrs. T 🙂

  12. Thank you for the amazing photos and information. I have enjoyed following you and reading your blogs. Be safe & enjoy!

    • Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for the positive feedback on the blogs and photos. You are a great photographer…you would love taking photos down here. 🙂 See you all soon…..tell the girls hello for me! 🙂 (Mike, too!)

  13. Betty, thanks for reminding me of the beauty of snow and ice. I am not sure I ever liked winter weather, and I’m getting worse as I get older. I’m wondering if all the people who live and work in Antarctica are winter weather lovers. Are there some you meet who really hate the cold and snow and ice? I am hoping that everyone there has your attitude about braving the weather and enjoying the beauty.

    • Hi Ann,
      I haven’t heard one person down here say they don’t like winter. I don’t think they’d come here if they didn’t like cold and snow. Even with all the gear, you have to like the cold and adventure. 🙂 Take care and see you soon!

  14. Those icicles are huge I can’t believe them. The snowman was pretty cool too. Also , did they just build the chapel? I wish I was in Antarctica right now just because of the weather!

    • Hi Keegan,
      I wish you were here too! The chapel was just repainted so it looks new. It was actually built in the 1980’s (I think….I wrote a blog about it around Christmas time). It’s a really nice little chapel…inside and out. I love the stained glass window, and it looks out over the Transantarctic Mountains and Mt. Discovery….beautiful. 🙂 Stay warm up there and keep reading the blogs and writing to me. See you soon! Hello to your whole family! Mrs. T. 🙂

  15. It so beautiful in Antarctica. I love snow. We just got some this morning but I don’t like the cold. I liked the snow man. Did you build it? See you when you come back

    • Hi Olivia,
      It IS so beautiful here and I love the mountains, valleys, snow, ice, and animals. I am so lucky to be here! I didn’t build that snowman, but isn’t it great?! See you very soon back at school. Mrs. T. 🙂

  16. It so beautiful in Antarctica. I love snow. We just got some this morning but I don’t like the cold. I liked the snow man. Did you build it? See you when you come back.

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