Climatological Observations in Ice-Free Areas of Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica

  1. Morton J. Rubin
  1. Colin Bull

Published Online: 14 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR009p0177

Studies in Antarctic Meteorology

Studies in Antarctic Meteorology

How to Cite

Bull, C. (1966) Climatological Observations in Ice-Free Areas of Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica, in Studies in Antarctic Meteorology (ed M. J. Rubin), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR009p0177

Author Information

  1. Institute of Polar Studies, Ohio State University, Columbus

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1966

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901091

Online ISBN: 9781118664445



  • Clouds;
  • Ice-free areas;
  • Meteorological observations;
  • Radiation;
  • Southern Victoria Land;
  • Temperature;
  • Wind


In the ice-free Wright and Victoria valley systems, west of McMurdo Sound, summer air temperatures are appreciably higher than temperatures on the coast of the Sound. Direction of surface winds is controlled by the topography. Easterly winds carry cool and damp air into the valleys, and the snow precipitation is greatest in the eastern ends of the valleys. Katabatic winds, from the inland ice of East Antarctica, are westerlies in the Wright Valley and northerlies or southerlies at the main observing site in the Victoria Valley system. The katabatic winds are relatively warm and dry and in the summer are confined to the western parts of the area and to the valley bottoms. Indirect evidence indicates that in the winter strong westerly winds blow throughout the valley. The annual net radiation balance in the ice-free area is positive, at about 29,000 cal cm−2, whereas in neighboring ice-covered areas there is a net loss of heat energy. These conditions, with the small quantity of winter precipitation, account for the continued ice-free nature of the area.