Why Is the Night Sky Always Brighter When There Is Snow on the Ground?
The other night I was sitting in the hot tub enjoying the quiet snowy night and was surprised how well I could see my backyard, making out shrubs and other detail more than an acre away. I could also make out shapes of the clouds. How is this possible, I asked?
One of the reasons that it's so light during the night time when it’s snowing or when we have snow on the ground is due to the reflective fragments inside snowflakes that reflect light off the clouds.
Here’s how I understand it; when we have no snow, light sources like street lights illuminate the area around them, which is usually a dark surface. And when the sky is clear, the light has nothing to reflect off of and continues into infinity and beyond.
When we have snow on the ground, the snow is reflecting more light to the sky and off the clouds (that are also white). The light then rebounds back to the surface and night turns into day, sort of.
More snow is expected to hit the Mid-Columbia Wednesday and Thursday. Visit our school delay link often for up-to-date delay and closure information 24/7.