Monday, March 15, 2010

Wacky weather and a wave that never came

I still have not gotten used to the weather here. It can be a little extreme.

My first week here was very rainy and cold. I practically lived in the only sweatshirt and pair of pants that I brought. There was one day where the winds got up to 50 mph and I could not physically bike to work! It was wild. (I was also excited to mark a 9 on the Beaufort scale for the survey that day - crazy!).

It has lightened up significantly since then and we enjoyed sunny weather all last week. I was happy to finally break out my shorts! Intermittent showers always caught me by surprise though and although I did not have a mirror on hand, I suspect I looked something like this:

It was probably a Monday.

As if this wasn't enough to remind me how remote and vulnerable we actually are here on this tiny island in the middle of nowhere, there was also a tsunami scare on the 27th. I think most of the world has heard, but as a result of the massive earthquake in Chile on Feb. 26th, all Pacific Islands received tsunami warnings shortly thereafter. I think Midway had 16 hours of notice to prepare for any damage, which was quite a bit of time, and I was impressed by how calm and organized everyone was. Important equipment and vehicles were driven up to Mt. Bart - the highest point on the island at 34 feet - and we were all ordered to the 3rd floor of Charlie Barracks to wait it out. We were considerably relieved to hear that waves in Hilo, Hawaii only reached around 3 feet and we ended being sent back to our homes after the warning was lifted. Our tsunami wave thankfully never came. Gary's account has pictures.

Call 911! Oh, wait.

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