GET ANSWERS: Morning Temperature Drops

7:08 PM, Dec 13, 2010   |    comments
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Preston wrote to us wondering why it always appears to get a little colder right at dawn. I have noticed that tin roofs begin to drip condensation around that time as well, what's happening?

Winds, clouds and the sun all play a role in the temperature you feel when you head out in the morning, but 13WMAZ Meteorologist Sonya Stevens says the time before sunrise tends to be the coldest part of the day.

"It'll be a lot warmer when I come in around three in the morning and then I'll watch that temperature drop right around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. and then right around 9 a.m. we'll see the temperatures rise again," she said.

She says we're at our coldest then because heat radiates into space overnight and a low angle doesn't allow the sun to warm us up. She says other factors can make the coldest time of day change.

"If you have clouds it's gonna serve as a blanket. It's gonna keep temperature steady. If the winds are stronger that's gonna keep things mixed up, we're not gonna get as cold around sunrise" said Stevens. She says if a front moves in, that can also throw temperature out of whack.

As for condensation, Stevens says dew will only form when temperatures reach the dew point.
That threshold changes depending on how much moisture is in the air.

"If we have enough moisture around as we cool down around sunrise, that would a lot of times, be when the temperature would equal the dew point as that temperature drops a little bit more, but if we don't have enough moisture around it wouldn't be an issue," she said.

If you have a question and you'd like us to get answers for you, just go back to our home page at and click on News on the menu bar, then Features and then Get Answers.

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