SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Snow cover could keep our temperatures colder.

Tuesday brought plenty of snow in southeast KELOLAND. After enjoying many days of above-average temperatures, snow cover will help keep our temps colder.

This phenomenon is known as albedo. Albedo is the fraction of radiation striking a surface that is reflected by that surface, here’s what that means.

Albedo no snow cover graphic

When the sun hits certain surfaces, more light is reflected back into space than is absorbed by the ground. Typically the sun hits the ground and warms it which helps increase temperatures.

The reason roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks can get very hot in summer is because they absorb lots of sunlight.

This is the opposite with snow, snow reflects back the radiation of the sun.

Albedo graphic on snow cover

Snow is one of the best examples of albedo and keeping temperatures cooler. We will be able to watch albedo work throughout the winter.

After the snow today we will have a snowy ground cover in KELOLAND and can see colder temperatures over the next few days