I was asked "Now, does it REALLY get cold in Antarctica, or is that hype?". I think that is a great question. For those familiar with the blog have seen open windows, fans, van heaters not on etc.
Yes, it does really get cold in Antarctica. Yes, there is hype about the cold in Antarctica. The coldest temerapture on earth was recorded in Antarctica http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/YongLiLiang.shtml. It routinely gets below -100 degrees F at South Pole Station each winter. At South pole it never gets above 0 F (it may have one or twice in the last 50 years we have been watching.)
However, Antarctica is a big place, larger than North America. It also has seasons. So there are extremes, especially in microclimate areas. The warmest teperature ever measured in Antarctica (supposedly)was + 59 F http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215022/climate.htm. The Peninsula is a lot different than most of the interior of Antarctica. I understand it rains there a lot in the summer. I have not been there. The peninsula is where almost all of the tourists go and where most of the science stations are from countries other that the US. (The US does have Palmer Station on the Peninsula.)
One of my friends on the ice (who has had lots of ice time) says that Summer in Antarctica (McMurdo) will be nothing like what you expected the weather in Antarctica to be like, on the other hand Winter is a lot worse than what you expected weather to be like in Antarctica. I trust his description. I have seen the photos of a huge oil tank ripped abart by a Herbie (Hurrican Blizzard) a few years ago.In my experience, Antartica is a very cold lifeless place. It can be surprisingly warm in the summer in certain areas (McMurdo, New Harbor) while at the same time up on Mt. Terror or Mt. Erebus a few miles away it may be 70 degrees colder at the same time. It can make for a strange day when you fly up there and back. The warmest I experienced was +40 F at McMurdo. The coldest I experienced was -60 F in the sub-terrainian chambers at South Pole.
This is a picture of the first day I arrived on the ice in the Airporter van that yesterday's picture was taken in with some the people I got to meet on the ice.