A physics-based snow model has been calibrated using data collected at Halley Bay, Antarctica, during the International Geophysical Year. Variations in snow temperature and density are well-simulated using values for the model parameters within the range reported from other polar field experiments. The effect of uncertainty in the parameter values on the accuracy of the predictions is no greater than the effect of instrumental error in the input data. Thus, this model can be used with parameters determined a priori rather than by optimization. The model has been validated using an independent data set from Halley Bay and then used to estimate 10 m temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula plateau over the last half-century.