Antarctic Conditions Fact Sheet
and snow cover 98 percent of the continent.
extends from May through August. Summer extends from December through February.
Temperatures during January and February range from -15°C to -35°C
inland and reach up to 0°C along the coast. Antarctica's inland plateau
has been called a polar desert. Very little moisture is in the air there, so
dehydration can be a major concern for people working on the ice.
Wind and Wind Chill
range from about 8
kilometers per hour to 64 kilometers per hour. Below freezing temperatures and
high winds can lower the temperature to -100°C and decrease the visibility
to less than 30 meters.
arrive quickly. They can be very localized—the sun might be shining in
one area while a severe snowstorm is happening just 80 kilometers away. Blowing
snow can create "whiteout" conditions with zero visibility. Low clouds on the
horizon contribute to low visibility and make it hard to see crevasses and
cracks in the ice. When in unknown territory, it is advised to stay put during
to the polar location, continuous daylight occurs during the summer, the time
when scientists conduct their research.
more on cold weather survival and Antarctic weather at the following Web sites:
Provides news and information about Antarctic weather.
Antarctica: The Frozen Continent
Supplies weather information and a method to estimate effective temperature.
Day-to-Day Polar Life
Considers what is needed to survive in Antarctica.
Outdoor Action Guide to Hypothermia and Cold Weather Injuries
Reviews how the body loses heat to the environment, how the body regulates core
temperature, and how to diagnose and treat hypothermia.