Why does the night sky seem so bright when it snows?

The answer is pretty simple, and pretty cool.

It's not rocket science, but it is meteorology, so we reached out to the National Weather Service-Twin Cities to find out why the night sky seems so much brighter during snowstorms. 

The answer is pretty simple. 

"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, told GoMN. 

"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."

Another factor in trapping the light are low clouds, Beitlich noted. 

On a night where snow isn't falling, the reflection of light off the snow on the ground escapes into space, thus normal darkness. 

So the bright nights, at the most basic level, are the result of snow flakes keeping the reflected light in the atmosphere. 

The technical term Beitlich referred to was "scattering of light." 

The more you know, right?

H/T to Hebopthebear on the Minnesota subReddit for the idea. 

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