The Weird Thing That Happens To The Night Sky After It Snows in Minnesota
Seeing as we just received another coating of the white stuff from Old Man Winter, have you noticed how bright the sky seems at night after it's snowed here in Minnesota?
Our snowfall this time happened Friday morning, but this phenomenon will likely occur later Friday and into Saturday: the night sky will seem unusually bright. Have you ever noticed how light it seems at night after a winter storm?
I've noticed this phenomenon at various times over the past few winters: the night sky seems much brighter after it snows. Heck, it's so light at night in the North Star State sometimes, it seems like you don't even have to turn on our driveway or garage lights to see what you're shoveling.
Have you noticed the same thing? As it turns out, the night sky IS brighter and lighter after a snowstorm hits the Bold North. And, there's a fairly simple scientific explanation for it too.
This BringMeTheNews story explains what happens after it snows: "We have our street lights, and when you have snow on the ground, that reflects a lot of light upwards into the atmosphere," Jacob Beitlich, a meteorologist from the NWS-Twin Cities, said in the story.
But wait, there's more: "If you have snow falling, all those tiny ice crystals scatter (reflects) a lot of that light, and a lot of it gets scattered back down to the ground," Beitlich said in the story.
He also noted that low clouds usually associated with a snow event tend to reflect the light back down to earth-- when, without the clouds, the light usually just escapes out in the atmosphere (and things look much darker outside.) He called the phenomenon the "scattering of light."
So, yeah. Sounds simple, but a lighter night sky in Minnesota after it snows IS a real thing. And now you know why!
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