In my haste to update you all on our WAIS status, I neglected to include that we were able to fly Twin Otter to Elaine AWS, on the southern end of the Ross Ice Shelf, on Friday 27 November. We were able to do this after we got word that our WAIS flight for that day was cancelled. A huge thanks to the folks at fixed wing for setting this up for us!
The weather was great for a station raise at Elaine. For the entirety of our visit, the winds remained low and temperatures were around 10F.
As the picture shows, Elaine obviously needed to be raised. There had also been an issue with the relative humidity sensor, which manifested itself as unusually steady observations. I’m willing to bet the reason for that problem was because the sensor was buried!
Mark and I had to dig down about 6 feet to get to the enclosure and free up all of the cables that we needed to loosen so we could raise the instrumentation on the new tower. The work was fairly slow-going, but the pilots were nice enough to help us out with some digging when they could.
After several hours, we had Elaine raised up and featuring a new relative humidity sensor. We took some pictures and then headed back to McMurdo. Not too shabby, considering we thought we were flying to WAIS early in the morning!