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

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

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