Warm days, cool nights: What’s causing the extreme temperature change?

Weather News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s May but you might have needed a jacket before heading out the door the past few mornings.

The sun has been shining, warming the Pioneer Valley up into the 60s and close to 70 these past few days. However, once the sun sets, the temperatures start to drop back into the 40s, making it feel much cooler. This process is called “radiational cooling” and is the cooling of the Earth’s surface at night due to a loss of heat.

When we have a cloudy night, temperatures don’t drop back as much because the clouds are acting like a blanket, keeping the surface of the earth warm. When there are a few to no clouds overnight, temperatures start to fall back into the 40s and sometimes 30s. These cool overnight temperatures lead to cooler mornings.

“It’s definitely getting a little bit chiller in the morning. I’ve noticed that especially getting up early and getting my kids on the school bus. I make sure they have a jacket and hoodie and things of that. Usually a zipper hoodie, something they can take off, because it does start to get a little sunny and hotter in the afternoon,” said Jaime Colon of Westfield.

The sun warms the surface of the earth up during the daytime. This leads to it feeling much warmer outside in the afternoon hours. This type of weather is common in the spring-time here in New England and will repeat itself until we get into the summer months.

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