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Seeing as we just received our first coating of the white stuff (with another round on the way) from Old Man Winter, have you noticed how bright the sky seemed at night after it snows here in Minnesota

Our snowfall this time is happening over several days, so if you missed it, you'll have a chance both the next couple of days to check this strange phenomenon out: the night sky will seem unusually bright.

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.

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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 story from CBS-58 meteorologist Justin Thompson-Gee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has the simple answer:

Fresh snow has a higher reflective property than your normal grass, trees, houses, roads, etc. so it makes its surroundings brighter.

And this BringMeTheNews story confirms this phenomenon that 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 National Weather Service in the Twin Cities, said in the story.

CSJ/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston, MN
CSJ/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston, MN

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!

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

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