Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blizzard, again.

Friday January 18, 2008

The skies finally cleared and Cambridge Bay was finally aglow with the noontime sun for the first time since we had a brief glimpse of a refracted sun last Friday. The sun is now fully clearing the horizon and is a welcome sight – especially after the last several days that had the community weathering blizzard conditions. Temps were around-35 with gusts up to 80 kph.

Yesterdays the gusts were strong enough that they woke mw up. The bed, quality furniture that it is, was oscillating like an inertial balance as the base vibrated with the housing unit as it moved in response to the wind blasts. Well I suppose it shows that the space frame that supports the whole structure is flexible. The heavy snow and wind cancelled school and all town services.

The drifts that built up on the road during the storm are / were impressive. The hamlet workers needed to use a D7 cat to plough through them and even then the cat was actually supported by some of the drifts and unable to dig down to the road bed – but that could be operator induced as well.

Went for a nice hike on the tundra in the evening - during the height of the storm. The moon was shiny thinly through the cloud and blowing snow and gave a unique illumination to the landscape. Gusts would drive a snow band that would obscure everything for a brief period of time and the light from the town would disappear and you’d be alone on the tundra. Not a big deal – I was dressed for it – but that included making sure that there was no exposed skin whatsoever as the -59 wind-chill would find even the smallest opening. So down suit, sorrels, balaclava, face mask, toque, goggles, liner gloves and caribou mitts were the attire. Interestingly enough the wind pressure was enough to actually feel through my lighter sorrels - no discomfort but you could feel it cool off during the heavier gusts.

Here’s some pix from during the storm – mostly for something to do but they convey a little of the conditions.

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