In an extraordinary engineering feat, the 2,260-pound Perseverance rover touched down gently in a dried-out crater lake on Mars yesterday. I have been following the space program since Gemini (a long, long time ago) and am amazed at the engineering feats NASA and JPL have come up with over the decades. Landing a rover on Mars is no simple task to be sure. There have been five successful robotically operated Mars rovers, all managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit, Curiosity, and Perseverance. No other country can claim this amount of success.
The Curiosity Rover sends out daily weather reports at Gale Crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars, near the equator. At this location, it’s currently early autumn. Mars is an extremely cold planet with an average temperature of around minus-80 degrees. Temperatures can dip to minus 225 degrees around the poles. Periods of warmth are brief — highs can reach 70 degrees for a brief time around Noon at the equator in the summer.
Air Temperature (°F)
|Feb. 16, 2021||3033||3°F||-99°F||823||06:39||18:37|
|Feb. 15, 2021||3032||19°F||-101°F||822||06:39||18:38|
|Feb. 14, 2021||3031||9°F||-101°F||821||06:39||18:38|
|Feb. 13, 2021||3030||-4°F||-101°F||821||06:39||18:39|
|Feb. 12, 2021||3029||-2°F||-99°F||821||06:40||18:39|
|Feb. 11, 2021||3028||0°F||-99°F||821||06:40||18:39|
|Feb. 10, 2021||3027||1°F||-101°F||820||06:40||18:40|
Keep in mind the atmosphere is thinner and most of the heat from the sun radiates into space at night.
Snow showers will spread in off Lake Michigan Friday, first affecting areas near the lake in the morning, then spreading east toward places like Lansing by afternoon. These snow showers may cause fast and significant drops to visibility and a fast coating of snow on roads. Much of the weekend then will be quiet. Then, snow will arrive over the entire area Sunday night.
- Lake Effect Snow Showers Today - Lake effect snow showers will start back up this morning around daybreak and will last into Saturday morning. These snow showers may consist of 2 main bursts, the first around daybreak as winds turn from easterly to westerly which could push snow bands as far east as Lansing. The second burst will be during the afternoon and evening as a quick moving shortwave moves through the state, mainly bringing locally heavier snow showers for lakeshore areas. Snowfall amounts on the order of 1 to 2 inches look possible with some locally higher amounts up to 4 inches in Lake and Mason Counties. Meanwhile the lowest amounts will spread further east as far as US-127. Snowfall rates up to 1 inch per hour will be possible in the stronger bands, particularly during the evening burst of snow. A slower evening commute should be anticipated for lakeshore areas, especially as far north as US-10. - Snowy System Sunday Night into Monday, Then Warmer - Our next snow producing system is expected for Sunday night into Monday as a low travels from the Central Plains up into Lower Michigan. Snowfall amounts up to 2 to 4 inches look possible for areas along and south of I-96, while areas further north of I-96 may see snow amounts up to 5 inches. While this system will drop some additional snow on us, it will also help to finally boot out the cold air thanks to deep southerly flow. Following the passage of this system, flow will turn more zonal which will help facilitate a warming trend through mid week. - Weak Front Tuesday - A weak front will move through the area Tuesday morning as a clipper slides east through southern Canada giving us a chance for some precip. While daytime temperatures will break into the mid to upper 30s, morning temps will still be low enough for some snow with this front. Snow amounts look low with nothing of much consequence.