FARGO — The planet Mars actually has weather that vaguely resembles weather here on Earth. Mars has a thin atmosphere, and at high altitudes, very thin cirrus clouds made of frozen crystals of carbon dioxide and water vapor. There are frequent windstorms on the Martian surface, which can blow at speeds of more than 50 mph. But the Martian air is very thin, less than 1% the density of Earth’s atmosphere, so these high winds do not have nearly as much force as they would on Earth.
The thin Martian air heats up in the sunlight to a temperature of around 70 degrees but can just as easily fall to 50 below at night. Earthlings on Mars could not enjoy the weather because, without a space suit, the thin air would cause their blood to boil. One interesting aspect of Martian weather is the prevalence of dust devils. Large, tornado-like vortices pick up Martian dust and produce huge, long-lasting red dust devils on sunny afternoons.