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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 10/ 1/2008

Irked by DC's Lack of Snow? Mars Not Much Better

By Dan Stillman

NASA's Phoneix Mars Lander captures clouds drifting across the Martian horizon on Sept. 25, 2008. Courtesy NASA.

Virga -- precipitation that falls through the air, and often shows up on radar, but evaporates before reaching the ground -- is every snow lover's worst nightmare. Turns out Earth isn't the only place where virga is a cruel tease.

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from clouds above Mars, but vaporizing before reaching the planet's surface. There is hope, though, that some Martian snow does reach the ground. That would be cool not only for those who like the white stuff, but also for scientists searching for the presence of liquid water on Mars, and thus an environment capable of supporting life.

See NASA and Washington Post stories for more details.

For more Earthly weather, see our full forecast through the weekend.

By Dan Stillman  | October 1, 2008; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Science  
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Are you sure that's not just a webcam in Culpeper or something? Hehhehehehee, sorry. I went down that way a lot this summer - it's more hilly than that. :P

That is pretty cool though! The winner of Mars Weather is by far this though:

Dust devils on Mars. How awesome?

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | October 1, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

BUT is it water smow?

Posted by: Fred Ritz | October 2, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

man who wrote this thang im trying to do a current event and i need his name im about to fail

Posted by: lil g | October 2, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

his name is dan stillman

Posted by: cody | October 2, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: CHRIS | October 2, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Mars is a lot further from the Sun than us, so should be colder. Why is the snow evaporating?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Because even at that low temperature, the vapor pressure of water can be higher than the ambient partial pressure of water, in which case ice sublimes.

Posted by: walkerj | October 3, 2008 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Wow, there is snow on Mars!

It reminds me of the film Total Recall when Arnold gives Mars an atmosphere. This is pretty cool, what a fantastic thing to happen. I can see us humans colonizing Mars within the next few decades. At least we have a planet for 'Plan B' ehh? ;-)

Posted by: C Denver | October 3, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: SNOWMAN | October 3, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

why don't we take the ice caps to mars? we're done with them and we're going to lose them anyway

Posted by: snowFACE | October 3, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I was a child at Vikings' time, and when they found no water, Mars was kind of kicked out of the realm of fantasy. I hope the snow will trigger new love with the red planet.

Posted by: Fabio | October 4, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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