An attempt was made to determine the vertical momentum and heat exchange in the near-ground atmosphere layer in the specific conditions of a sub-Antarctic island. For this purpose, some of the results of the measurements of temperature and wind speed carried out at the levels 10, 2, 0.5 and 0.05 m, during the IVth Antarctic Expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences in March 1980, were used. The vertical gradients of the two elements and the wind stress and the heat flux in the layers under study, were calculated.
Over the South American sector of the Antarctic Ocean intensive cyclonal activity occurred in turn with meridional circulation, which was a more common feature of winter 1986 than it usually is. At the Arctowski Station strong temperature oscillations were observed during the austral winter from May to October. In the end of July the lowest temperature of this winter, — 32.3°C, was recorded. In the first half of the winter an easterly air flow prevailed and in the second part — the westerly one. Winds were strong and gusty. The highest speed reached 74 ms-1 . Snowfalls were abundant; depth of snow exceeded 100 cm.
Obervations of wind directions and air temperatures in Hornsund, Spitsbergen, in 1978—1985 were used to compute frequency distribution of wind directions and mean air temperatures at particular wind directions. Prevailing easterly winds (60°, 90° and 120°) resulted in lower air temperatures (to —2.2°C) than winter and spring means and in higher (nearly 1°C) than summer and autumn mean temperatures. Greatest positive deviations from mean seasonal temperatures are observed in winter at southerly and southwesterly winds and reach 10°C. Greatest negative deviations from mean seasonal temperatures are noted at northerly winds (330° and 360°) in autumn and reach —3.7°C.
Observations from 1978—81, 1983 and 1985 collected at the Polish Polar Arctowski Station (King George Island, South Shetland Islands) were used to calculate frequencies of wind directions in 30° sectors and mean air temperatures observed at each wind direction. Results reveal that all over the year the warmest air masses flow onto the South Shetland Islands from the northwest while the coolest ones from the southeast and east.
The analysis of speed and direction distribution of upper wind in the layer up to 3500 m was carried out on the basis of pibal ascents performed over the Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetland Islands).