Does water reflect or refract light?

Answered by Alana Jensen, INL ESER Program Water is both a reflector and refractor of light. Let’s examine these properties of light separately. Reflection: Reflection is when light hits the surface of an object and then that light travels to our eyes so we can see. All materials reflect light to some extent, but a…

How much does snow cover affect temperatures? Does snow reflect enough sunlight that it makes it colder?

Answered by John Hinsberger Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Office Daytime TemperaturesThe amount of incoming radiation from the sun that gets reflected back into space is known as albedo. Higher albedo means more of that radiation gets reflected back. Thus, less radiation can be absorbed by the surface, so temperature is affected. One of the…

What happens to rain when lightning strikes it?

Answered by Travis Wyatt, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, ID Any rain in the path of lightning will turn to steam. Lightning can heat the air anywhere from 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, lightning is extremely hot. Lightning traveling down a…