PM Update: Breezes wane into a cool overnight, and clouds increase Thursday

Through tonight: Breezy conditions will persist through sunset, but winds are slowly diminishing. They will calm more substantially later on. The cool and clear conditions of this evening will stick around much of the night. We should see winds die off with the sunset, which will help temperatures falling to the 50s feel generally comfortable. Lows will range from near 50 to the upper 50s.

Tomorrow (Thursday): It will be another good-looking day. Sunshine will be plentiful through midday before clouds build during the afternoon. Any rain chances should hold off until after dark. Highs will be in the low and mid-70s. Winds will be from the southwest, around 5 to 10 mph.

Pollen update: Mold spores are high. Tree, grass and weed pollen is low.

Rain: Precipitation totals were mostly on the light side of the forecast around here last night. As suggested by some of the high-resolution models

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In Venus’ clouds there’s phosphine. Phosphine stinks. But its discovery lifts my heart.

A computer-processed image of Venus first captured by NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974. The contrast-enhanced version, right, makes features in the planet's thick cloud cover visible in greater detail. <span class="copyright">(NASA / JPL-Caltech)</span>
A computer-processed image of Venus first captured by NASA’s Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974. The contrast-enhanced version, right, makes features in the planet’s thick cloud cover visible in greater detail. (NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Hazy and noxious clouds obscure the hot land below. Here in Utah, as I write, distant wildfires have turned the sky a monochromatic opal. In a time of unrest, plague and rising fear of science, joy is hard to find. Consolation, if it comes, is the sweet call of a bird, a favorite, a northern flicker above maple-red woods.

And when it’s clear, Venus, in the morning sky like a gem.

I’ve been thinking about the hazy, noxious clouds on Venus for the past few days because in its hellish sky there’s something called phosphine. Phosphine stinks. But its discovery lifted my heart.

Life is resilient. Recently, scientists revived 100-million-year-old microbes from deep ocean sediments. Another study

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Tesla Slumps as Battery Day Letdown Clouds $320 Billion Gain

(Bloomberg) — Tesla Inc.’s highly anticipated “Battery Day” fell short of expectations that helped fuel its $320 billion surge in market value this year, with Elon Musk outlining grandiose goals that will take time to pull off.

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The chief executive officer laid out a plan Tuesday to build a $25,000 car and cut battery costs in half over the next three years. Analysts said while the technology and manufacturing innovations outlined were impressive, Tesla’s valuation already reflected its ability to disrupt and investors may be let down by the lack of surprises at the much-hyped battery-showcase event.

This seemed to be the case on Wednesday, as the company’s shares fell as much as 11% to $375.88, closing at $380.36 in New York. They’re up about 360% for the year so far.

“With the Battery Day in the rearview, we think there is a lack of upcoming catalysts and

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The science behind fire clouds, fire thunderstorms, and fire tornadoes

Weather and wildfires share a close relationship. Certain weather conditions are known to ignite wildfires: High temperatures and low humidity dry out the landscape, lightning strikes can spark a flame, and fast-moving winds spread flames across nearby desiccated land.

But wildfires also spawn their own weather systems, including pyrocumulonimbus clouds—which NASA has called the “fire-breathing dragon of clouds” for the thunderbolts they hurl at Earth, fueling further blazes and sometimes even fire tornadoes.

Fire weather has contributed to the scale of several historic conflagrations, including the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires that burned more than a million acres across Australia, and the wildfires across the West Coast of the United States in 2020. Here’s what causes firestorms—and why they’re becoming more common in a warming world.

How firestorms get started

Firestorms form through a convective process, in which heat rises through the air. When a column of moist air over a

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Life in the toxic clouds of Venus

Venus
All eyes on Venus

JAXA / ISAS / Akatsuki Project Team

This is a preview of Launchpad, our free weekly newsletter in which resident space expert Leah Crane fills you in on all the very latest news about our exploration of our solar system – and beyond.

Welcome to this week’s Launchpad, and I hope you’re all doing well. As you may have seen, there was some big news about Venus this week that may catapult Earth’s less-loved neighbour to the top of the list of places to hunt for alien life.

A team of astronomers has spotted a gas called phosphine in Venus’s clouds. This isn’t the first time we have seen phosphine on a planet – it’s produced on Earth in industrial processes and by microbes, and at crushing pressures and high temperatures deep inside giant planets like Jupiter – but the strange thing is

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