Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood", with even the Anomalous Airport reaching 70° by early afternoon. Many other locations in the Washington DC metro area were in the mid or upper 70s at mid afternoon. Here at Afternoon Blog Central, it's up to an unofficial 78&deg.

It's also still very dry, although not as much as Ft. Belvoir's continuing bogus 11% relative humidity. My first lawn mowing of the season today was probably as late as any in the last 16 seasons at this address. That's probably due to the record-breaking dryness of March, since temperatures have not been particularly cold. Thanks to the rain last week and over the weekend, we're still about a third of an inch above normal for April, but that excess is likely to be dissipated within the next couple of days.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight will be mostly clear with lows around 50. Tomorrow, clouds will increase, especially in the afternoon, with highs in the low 70s.

Space Weather

In the nearby Solar System neighborhood, the European Space Agency Venus Express mission was successfully inserted early this morning into orbit around Earth's evil twin. Venus' atmosphere is an example of the greenhouse effect on steroids. The nearly 100% CO2 atmosphere has about 90 times the density of our own atmosphere. This results in a surface temperature of about 470° C, even higher than the surface of Mercury and hot enough to melt lead. Unlike an earlier mission whose main purpose was to map the surface of the planet, Venus Express is designed to study the atmosphere. For some interesting background information, see the latest post at RealClimate.org.

Graphic from European Space Agency

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