Ask Storm Team 11: Why is the sky bluer in the wintertime?

Ask Storm Team 11

Today’s Ask Storm Team 11 question: “Why is the sky bluer in the winter than in the summer months?”

The difference in the shades of blue between the colder, winter months and the warmer, summer months all comes down to what makes up the atmosphere.

In the late spring and summer, when we have clear skies during the day, the blue sky tends to be milkier or even white. 

In the fall and winter, the sky is a richer, cobalt blue. 

Here’s why.

The air in the winter is very dry. It’s also cold and cold air can’t hold as much water vapor in the air creating very small water droplets. The low sun angle and lack of moisture means sunlight doesn’t get scattered as much before reaching our eyes. To us, the sky appears a brighter blue.

In the summer, we have more water vapor in the air. In other words, there is more moisture which can obviously translate to a lot of humidity. The warmer the air, the more water it can hold, and the bigger the water droplets. Those bigger droplets scatter the light giving it a hazy appearance. In the peak of summer, when the angle is at its highest, the light scatters even more. To us, the sky appears a lighter blue. 

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss