If NASA is going to send people to Mars, it needs to predict the planet's weather. You don't want to land in the middle of a ferocious storm that wipes out your entire mission. Thankfully, the space agency just took a step toward making that happen. It's now detecting patterns in large regional dust storms by studying high-altitude (16 miles) temperature data from its orbiters. As dusty air tends to be much hotter at those heights, it's easy to tell when a giant regional storm is flaring up -- you just look for hot patches and their effects on the wind.