Discover How Much Snow the South Pole Gets Every Year

Written by Devika Khosla
Published: November 29, 2023
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The mere mention of the South Pole has most people shivering, and rightfully so! One of the remotest and most inaccessible places in the world, the South Pole is among the coldest places on Earth. With a unique icy topography, the South Pole is a key location to study the changing climate patterns and systems. As we discover how much snow the South Pole gets every year, the results may just surprise you.  

Geography

The Ceremonial South Pole marker is surrounded by flags of countries that signed the Antarctic Treaty.

©Nick Majerus, NSF, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Located on the continent of Antarctica, the South Pole is the southernmost point on Earth. The South Pole has an altitude of over 9,300 feet above sea level. This is due to the thickness of its ice. Its latitude is 90 degrees, and all lines of longitude meet here. As a result, all directions in the South Pole face north.

Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station

Watermarks on the photo

The American Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station dome is from 1956.

©Mesa Studios/Shutterstock.com

A science research center of the United States originally set up in 1956, Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is named after Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott. In the early 1900s, the two explorers were the first people to reach the South Pole. Scientists and researchers inhabit the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.

Marine Life

Animals in Antarctica

A colony of emperor penguins waddles through Antarctica.

©Sergey 402/Shutterstock.com

Owing to the extreme cold, the South Pole has no vegetation or animal life. However, Antarctica has prolific marine life. These include the Antarctic krill, blue whales, penguins, and seals.

Weather

With near zero humidity, the amount of snow that the South Pole gets every year is between 2-2.5 inches.

©Cmichel67, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The South Pole experiences one sunrise and one sunset throughout the year. The sunrise occurs at the September equinox, and the sunset occurs at the March equinox. Therefore, the South Pole is in complete darkness from May to August, which is known as “polar night.” Alternatively, the South Pole receives constant sunlight from November to February. With near zero humidity, the amount of snow that the South Pole gets every year is between 2-2.5 inches, according to the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs. The average number of snowy days in a year is around 205 days. The coldest temperature recorded at the South Pole is – 181.04 °F (– 82.8°C), which was on June 23, 1982. The warmest temperature recorded at the South Pole is 9.9 °F (– 12.3 °C) on December 25, 2011.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © euphro / CC BY-SA 2.0 – License / Original


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