Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Snow Spotted on Mars & Wet Flakes May Fly Above Lafayette

Snow was spotted falling just above the Martian surface today. Check out the latest news from NASA! This has me doing a snow dance and excited for snow here in Lafayette. This moring I felt I was on a different planet with a thick fog overtaking many areas and school delays. My kids were climbing the walls. I do not see a repeat of this on Wednesday morning with added cloud cover and increased wind speeds. But it is a reminder that snow days and the picture you see above will be coming to a neighborhood near you before you know it. Check out the answer to our blog question of the day below....meanwhile on Mars,

-- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth. A laser instrument designed to gather knowledge of how the atmosphere and surface interact on Mars has detected snow from clouds about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the spacecraft's landing site. Data show the snow vaporizing before reaching the ground. "Nothing like this view has ever been seen on Mars," said Jim Whiteway, of York University, Toronto, lead scientist for the Canadian-supplied Meteorological Station on Phoenix. "We'll be looking for signs that the snow may even reach the ground."

You can read the rest of the NASA article at this link: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/news/phoenix-20080929.html

...You do not have to go to Mars to experience snow falling above the ground....here in Lafayette we have a rapidly lowering freezing level and by later today it will be down to about 6,500 feet. With rain showers possible tomorrow in the afternoon we could see some wet snowflakes hold together to about 3,500 feet above the Wabash River before they melt. The picture above shows a towering cloud over Lafayette. This is a good indication of cold air aloft moving overhead. The air rises quickly when it is heated in this situation and you can get these ominous, dark clouds to build in an instant. While we usually do not see thunderstorms in this set-up, these clouds can produce brief rain showers. Once the wind picks up and switches more to the north and northwest by tomorrow expect an increased shot at seeing some rain showers. The wind will also start to pick up on Wednesday so make sure to have the wind breakers and umbrellas handy! Make sure to tune in tonight we have a lot to talk about. Your October weather outlook will also be out of this world if you like lots of variety and I will make sure to post it on here tomorrow.

Blog Question of the Day: When does Lafayette usually see its first snowflakes?

Sooner than you think. We have our first snowflakes on average in just over 4 weeks or the beginning of November. I am carefully watching snow cover on the increase across northern Canada. The more snow this area receives this time of year the better our chances for a cold and snowy winter and for an early snowfall! I am still liking our chances of having a good November snowstorm.


Anonymous said...

I hope by veriety you don't mean another warm up? :( lol

It is gusty out there bloggers hold on to your hat's!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Goodness, its 65* outside, and my daughter is telling me she is FREEZING. LOL! Would help if she was not wearing shorts:))) It was nasty out this morning due to the fog.

Justin, I know you are looking foward to tracking snowfall, Not me! I know you love the cold, the only thing I like about cold wx is a fire in the fire place. Makes all feel cozy, I am tempted to start one this evening Cause I am chilly too!

Teri in La.

lynda said...

you need to get it so we can sub with bloglines on your blog.

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Anonymous said...

Are you sticking with your earlier prediction for a late November record snowfall?