Old man winter will be returning with a vengeance tomorrow in the form of a storm that will bring wintry precipitation to the Valley.
While tomorrow will not feel spring like, the strength of the sun’s energy will be on full display tomorrow when the flakes start to fly.
You might know that the amount of solar energy impacting the Valley changes throughout the year. Generally speaking, higher amounts of solar energy are received during the warmer months while lower amounts occur in the colder months.
The amount of solar energy that Youngstown receives changes due to the tilt of the Earth which in turn causes the seasons. The smallest amount of average daylight received in Youngstown occurs during the winter solstice. On that day, Youngstown receives an average of around 150 watts per square meter of sunlight (A watt is a unit of power).
During tomorrow’s winter weather event, the average amount of energy received by the sun will be 300 watts per square meter. In other words, the sun will be twice as strong tomorrow compared to the winter solstice.
Therefore, the snow that falls tomorrow will have a difficult time accumulating due to more energy from the sun. The increased solar energy will be absorbed by the roadways and sidewalks which will increase the temperature and lessen the impacts of slippery travel.
As you might expect, the average amount of energy received by the sun reaches its maximum during the summer solstice. The value of energy received that day is around 485 watts per square meter.
Today, the amount of solar energy that Youngstown will receive will be similar to what you would expect on October 1. By this weekend, the intensity of the sun’s power will be equivalent to what you would expect in September.
Therefore, despite the return of winter this week, you can be assured that warmer times are ahead.