Prince Harry and Team Forced Out of South Pole Due to Polar Storm

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By Jesselle Maminta | December 19, 2013 12:27 PM EST

Britain's Prince Harry poses for a photograph with members of Team UK, Team Commonwealth and Team US at the South Pole CREDIT: REUTERS

Prince Harry and his team are forced to leave the South Pole earlier than expected due to a polar storm. 

The expedition organizers announced that the 29-year-old royal and his teammates, including "True Blood's" Alexander Skarsgard and "The Wire's" Dominic West, left Novolazarevskaya Station in Antarctica on Wednesday and are headed to Cape Town, South Africa

The sudden evacuation from the South Pole is due to the onset of a major polar storm which will cause their early demise if the team had not left the vicinity as soon as possible. 

'An intense area of low pressure is moving towards the Novo area bringing thick cloud, some snow and winds gusting up to 40 mph or more,' said Catherine Murphy, a forecaster for the British Met Office working on location in Antarctica, in a statement released by Walking with the Wounded. 

'This could cause drifting snow or, as the winds strengthen, whiteout conditions which make travel difficult or impossible. These conditions could last for several days as the weather system moves through.'

Meanwhile, Walking with the Wounded co-founder Ed Park left a voice blog to the London headquarters on their latest situation as they leave Antarctica in a 'very blustery, very snowy day, with a blizzard comming.' 

'We are about to fly out to - well, we are about to be dragged out on the back of a Ski-Doo to our Aleutian aircraft,' says Park.

'That Aleutian aircraft will be flying us back to Cape Town, where we have a few days of decompression before returning home to our loved ones.'

The team is due to return to the United Kingdom by next Wednesday, Dec. 23, in time for Christmas Day. 

Prince Harry, Skarsgard, West and the rest of the team completed a 200-mile trek to the South Pole on Dec. 13, and spent the weekend there before flying in two separate groups back to the Novo Station. The expedition aims to raise money for Walk With The Wounded, a charity close to the prince's heart. 

'They're going to achieve something quite remarkable and in doing so will prove to everybody else that even when you've lost a leg, you've lost an arm or whatever the illness may be, that you can achieve pretty much anything if you put your mind to it,' said the prince at the official departure in London last November. 

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