A: Melissa from Salinas asked us, "Do clouds affect the temperature?"
Chief Meteorologist Norm Hoffmann has the answer.
Thank you for your question. The quick answer is yes they do affect the temperature during the day and night.
The earth receives energy (in many forms of short wave radiation, visible light is one) and you feel warmer when the sun is out. It heats the surface and most of the time the temperature goes up during the day. If it is cloudy the sun's energy is blocked from heating the surface of the earth so the temperature under similar conditions would be cooler. At night the earth radiates long wave radiation back into Space and cools down. This is why nights are generally cooler than the day. If it is cloudy, the clouds hold the long wave radiation near the surface of the earth and the earth does not cool as much because the clouds act like a blanket to long wave radiation.
So the answer again is yes, clouds do affect temperature, but so does the wind and local topography as it does around here on the Central Coast.