MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’ve got another blast of arctic air coming just in time for New Year’s Eve, but (if you can believe it) this one looks to be even colder than the frigid temps on Christmas.

Part of the reason why it’ll be even colder is the snow on the way Thursday morning.

What? The snow can affect the temperatures? Yup, and here’s why.

During the day, the ground will absorb the sun’s rays, warming the air near the earth’s surface. This causes our temperature to rise.

snow surface cooling How Does Snow Make Our Temperatures Colder?

(credit: CoCoRaHS Network)

However, snow is like one big mirror for the sun. It will reflect some of those rays back away from the surface before they have a chance to warm us up. The rays that do reach the snow, will do some melting and evaporating. Both melting and evaporating take up energy, which means there’s less energy to raise those temperatures.

Then at night, snow gives out what’s called long-wave radiation. Essentially, it’s letting go of whatever heat it may have and cools the air even more. This is especially true with fresh snow.

So when you’re frustrated at the brutally cold temperatures this weekend just remember, don’t blame a meteorologist, blame the snow. And the North Pole, that’s where all this cold is coming from anyway.

Stay warm!


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