Skip to main content
Publish date:

Florida man wonders how Minnesota temps drop after 'beautiful sun emerges'

He asked a great question and the NWS responded with the answer.

Imagine being a Floridian on a business trip to Minnesota in the dead of winter. 

Today, Chuck Franks is that Floridian, and he's giving "mad respect" to Minnesotans who deal with Old Man Winter on a regular basis. But mad respect to Chuck, too, for asking a question that some Minnesotans probably don't know the answer to either. 

"Ok weather professionals out there, question from a south Florida guy up in MN for biz, how does the temp go from -3 to -6 after that beautiful sun emerges?" Chuck asked in a tweet Wednesday morning. 

Minnesotans probably didn't notice the temperature drop after sunrise because we're used to it, and, you know, we've got car windows to scrape while trying to breath in air that's colder than now than it has ever been in Florida, so no time for noticing a negative number go to a lower negative number. 

But the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service noticed the temperature drop and gave Chuck – and all Minnesotans – the reason that the sun, which as we're led to believe is a giant ball of fire that heats the planet, wasn't doing its job. 

"2 possible reasons. The early morning sun angle doesn't provide enough solar radiation to overcome the effect of the typical overnight radiational cooling that occurs, OR cool air is advecting in from elsewhere. Also could be a combination of the two," the weather service said. 

"In this case, with weaker winds, inclined to think the radiational effects are the more likely culprit."

According to the National Weather Service, radiational cooling is the cooling of the Earth's surface. And it's at night when "the Earth suffers a net heat loss to space due to terrestrial cooling," which can be more pronounced with clear skies. 

In other words, clouds serve as a layer of insulation to keep the heat in the Earth's atmosphere, whereas clear skies allow that heat an easier escape into space. 

Anyway, Chuck should stick around a few more days and he'll be in shorts and t-shirts like the rest of us when the temps rocket into the 30s and maybe even the 40s Friday-Sunday. 

Tab3FileL (3)

Next Up

unsplash - school girl students

St. Paul is closing 6 schools amid declining enrollment

The board revised the plan after the school communities voiced concerns.

Karl-Anthony Towns

X-rays negative after Karl-Anthony Towns takes scary fall

Towns crashed hard to the ground late in the game Wednesday night.

Minneapolis police

2 more homicides push Minneapolis closer to record set in 1995

The deadly shootings happened on the city's North Side Wednesday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.


Minnesota's all-time cold temp record nearly brrrrrroken

It prompted NWS employees to hurry to the location.

Temps, humidity took crazy nosedive overnight

Temps dropped about 40 degrees in a matter of hours.

Most of MN dropped from severe weather threat Friday

Storm chances could be increasing into next week.

Frigid air on the way with temps well-below zero across MN

It'll be as cold in Mankato as it is in Bemidji.

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 9.50.02 AM

Here's how much snow fell in southern Minnesota

Lakeville led the metro area with 2.3 inches of fresh snow.

Will extreme cold prompt Gov. Walz to close schools statewide?

Schools also have their own cold day criteria if he doesn't.