Climatology of blizzards over Schirmacher Oasis, east Antarctica


  • R. P. LAL



Antarctic Meteorology, Climatology, Blizzards


Weather in Antarctica is subject to frequent and sudden changes.  Strong winds and blizzards dominate Antarctic weather. A combination of blowing snow, gale force wind and very low visibility is normally defined as blizzard. Meteorological data recorded at Indian Antarctic Station Maitri, in respect of blizzards recorded during the period 1990-2005 has been studied to find out climatological features of blizzards affecting Schirmacher Oasis.


    At Maitri the blizzard is mostly associated with extra-tropical storms and is normally preceded by precipitation. On average during the year about 21 blizzards affects the station for 45 days during the year. During the month of April to August 3 to 4 blizzards affects the station. Maximum number of blizzards occurs in the month of August with about 7 blizzard days. Average wind speed recorded during the blizzard is about 52 kt but it exceeded 100 kt on several occasions. The duration may vary from hours to days with average of 25 hours. Longest duration of 168 hours was recorded in June 1997. There are about 12 such occasions when blizzard lasted more than 72 hours. No correlation has been found between maximum wind speed and temperature rise during blizzard and the speed is also not correlated with pressure departure during the period.




How to Cite

R. P. . LAL and S. . RAM, “Climatology of blizzards over Schirmacher Oasis, east Antarctica”, MAUSAM, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 39–50, Jan. 2009.



Research Papers