McMurdo Station Webcams
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McMurdo Station Weather

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McMurdo Station (77°51'S, 166°40'E), the main U.S. station in Antarctica, is a coastal station at the southern tip of Ross Island, about 3,864 km (2,415 miles) south of Christchurch, New Zealand, and 1,360 km (850 miles) north of the South Pole. The original station was built in 1955 to 1956 for the International Geophysical Year. Today's station is the primary logistics facility for supply of inland stations and remote field camps, and is also the waste management center for much of the U.S. Antarctic Program. Year-round and summer science projects are supported at McMurdo.

The station has a harbor, landing strips External U.S. government site on the sea ice and shelf ice, and a helicopter pad. The three airfields-the annual sea-ice runway, Pegasus White Ice Runway, and Williams Field Skiway-are used at different times of the year for different reasons. Repair facilities, dormitories, administrative buildings, a firehouse, power plant, water distillation plant, wharf, stores, clubs, warehouses, a science support center, and the first-class, 4,320 square-meter Crary Lab External U.S. government site are linked by above-ground water, sewer, telephone, and power lines.

The mean annual temperature is -18°C (0°F). Temperatures may reach 8°C (46°F) in summer and -50°C (-58°F) in winter. The average wind is 12 knots, but winds have exceeded 100 knots.

Research is performed at and near McMurdo Station in aeronomy and astrophysics External U.S. government site, organisms and ecosystems External U.S. government site, earth sciences External U.S. government site, glaciology and glacial geology External U.S. government site, integrated system science External U.S. government site, ocean and atmospheric sciences External U.S. government site. Participants of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program External U.S. government site also work at sites in the area. For projects supported during the 2010-2011 season, see the McMurdo Station Science Program Index in the USAP Science Planning Summary. McMurdo Station is also the launch site for deep field projects in East and West Antarctica. For information about these projects see the Special Projects Science Program Index.

To find out more about life at U.S. Antarctic research stations, see the Around the Continent External U.S. government site section of The Antarctic Sun External U.S. government site.

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