Breakdown: Why clouds impact temperatures

Breakdown: Why clouds impact temperatures

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Many things impact temperatures, such as wind, amount of solar radiation and sun angle. However, clouds can have the biggest impact on daily forecasted high and low temperatures.

The sun’s rays travel through the atmosphere and warm up the surface during the day. If there are clouds, less radiation makes it the surface and temperatures will be lower.

Clouds during the day usually result in cooler weather, but evening clouds have the opposite effect. On a clear night, any radiation absorbed during the day will travel back up into the atmosphere and the temperatures drop quickly in response.

Clouds at night act as a blanket and keep this radiation trapped near the surface. The heat will actually be re-emitted back to the surface as it bounces off the clouds. This results in temperatures that are higher (compared to a clear night).

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