How our new snow cover will intensify the Arctic Blast - KMSP-TV

How our new snow cover will intensify the Arctic Blast

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Meteorologist Steve Frazier Meteorologist Steve Frazier

We have heard about it for days and stage one is here, the snow. The snow is out ahead of the much anticipated, or maybe not so much anticipated, arctic blast. The is no doubt that the air mass moving in will be cold, but the fresh snow laid out ahead of it will mess with our temperatures.

Snow is highly reflective. The fresher snow is usually whiter, therefore reflecting more sunlight. The sunlight we experience under that big arctic high pressure will be about 80% reflected.

Courtesy NOAA

That is energy that is not warming the ground, and thus the air above it. In reality, the deeper the snow pack, the more the sun's energy is melting the snow and not warming the air. Also, the fresher snow will be a brighter white and reflect more energy.

Courtesy NOAA

The sun is also evaporating and melting the snow, which in return provides a cooling effect to help limit temperatures. Snow is a strong emitter and reflector of radiation. At night, especially when it is clear, snow cover will enhance the cooling that takes place.

Also, as the cold air moves in from the north, the air mass will have less of a chance to moderate with the fresh snow cover on the ground, making the winds a bit more biting for those downstream. This means the cold fingers of air will reach farther south. As the cold settles in over the next several days, those of you out in the country north of the metro can expect to experience a little extra chill in the air.

We would love to see your weather photos! Email them to Photos@Fox9.com . Also I hope you will LIKE my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/SteveFrazierFox9Kmsp and follow me on Twitter at @FrazierFox9 . Thanks for watching! FRAZIER

 

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