Why is Antarctica the Windiest Place on Earth

It's not just Antarctica's temperatures that are so extreme. Winds speeds on the continent often exceed 100 mph each winter. Learn the causes of these ferocious katabatic winds.

Studying Snow and Wind in Antarctica

Article

Studying Snow and Wind in Antarctica

What's a high school chemistry teacher from Florida doing in Antarctica studying the winds? She's helping researchers understand global warming by tracking how the winds transport snow.

Studying Polar Climate

Article

Studying Polar Climate

Talk about the force of gravity—Antarctica's powerful katabatic winds thunder down from the high polar plateau to the coast, creating wind speeds that typically exceed 100 mph every winter month.

Katabatic Winds

Article

Katabatic Winds

While out at sea, Shipp's ship hit a windstorm that was nasty by anyone's definition—wind speeds of 80 knots (70 mph). Learn why it's not uncommon for wind speeds to reach 200 mph in Antarctica.

Antarctic Weather Stations

Classroom Activity

Antarctic Weather Stations

In Antarctica, scientists often have trouble measuring katabatic winds, which are so strong they can knock down the instruments. Discover for yourself why Antarctica is the windiest place on Earth.

Crazy Cold Air

Classroom Activity

Crazy Cold Air

Why does cold air rush out of a freezer when you open the door? How does it then move through a room? Experiment to learn the answers—and gain insight into the blustery winds of Antarctica.