Clear nights lead to cooler temperatures

How clouds play a part in keeping us warmer
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 9:53 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Wiregrass is no stranger to warm afternoons, especially in the summertime and in early fall, but sometimes warm afternoons can lead to very cool overnight temperatures. So why does this happen?

You might have heard us live on News 4 talk about how the clouds actually play a part in keeping overnight temperatures warmer, and that is very true.

Let’s break this down: During the afternoon hours, solar radiation heats the ground, warming it and the air around us. When the sun sets during the night time hours, that heat escapes back towards space.

If we have clouds, they will act as a blanket, and they can re-emit some of that heat back down to the surface. On clear nights when no clouds are present, all that radiation escapes back into space, and that leads to cooler overnight temperatures.

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