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Martian Weather Report

You may have heard in the news about the Mars Phoenix Lander, currently taking soil samples near the Martian north pole. A somewhat less publicized fact is the temperature data being taken by its weather sensor. At the lander site, yesterday’s high temperature was -17°F (-27°C) while the low temperature was -117°F (-83°C). And this is in the middle of summer! It is estimated that the record maximum temperature on Mars, say, on the hottest summer day at the equator, would be around 70°F (21°C). The coldest day at the winter pole can only fall to the carbon dioxide frost temperature of -190°F (-123°C), since then Mars’ carbon dioxide atmosphere begins to sublimate. No equivalent exists on Earth, since it never gets cold enough for our predominately nitrogen atmosphere to freeze out. At least there’s no rain, but you might get stuck in a dust storm that can last for several months!

Back to Earth’s weather, the rest of the week will continue to be dry and pleasantly warm. The next chance for rain looks to be Saturday night, when a cold front moves through our area.

Extended Forecast

Today: Sunny. High 75°F (24°C).

Tonight: Clear. Low 62°F (17°C).

Tomorrow: Sunny. High 75°F (24°C).

Tomorrow night: Partly cloudy. Low 61°F (16°C).

Friday: Mostly cloudy. High 73°F (23°C).