According to the soothsayers at Environment Canada, it’s going to be windy and snowy today. But at least it will be warm. With a forecast high of -6 C, you might want to enjoy it as much as you can, despite the blustery winds and five centimetres of snow, because it’s getting cold again tomorrow, with weekend lows as cold as -34 C.
We’ve seen far too much of those -30 C temperatures lately.
It’s enough to drive some wags to make comparisons between Manitoba and Mars, where NASA’s Curiosity rover recently reported that the daytime highs on the Red Planet were a degree or two warmer than in this corner of the universe.
Although days and nights are different on Mars, of course, the Curiosity rover has reported temperatures as warm as -25 C through December.
That certainly rivals some of our own afternoons.
But we note that Curiosity’s location on Mars is currently in early summer — the equivalent of May or June here on Earth — and although we’ve had some chilly Junes, we usually manage to get a little warmer than that by then.
The overnight lows are even worse. Fancy -103 C at all?
We’re not sure how NASA gets away with not plugging in the rover, but we could use a little of that spinoff technology down here. (Never mind, we checked NASA’s website and it’s doubtful its plutonium-powered heater technology will pass government muster for Earthbound sedans or SUVs.)
Curiosity will enter its 18th month of work on the surface of Mars this weekend. Later this month, NASA’s Opportunity rover will mark a full decade on Mars, and it’s still going.
Although it only came up as a way for people to take an amusing swipe at the deep freeze we’ve all shivered through, we’re pleased to take a moment to highlight these remarkable human accomplishments.
Well done, rovers.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 3, 2014