full_metal_ox (full_metal_ox) wrote in little_details,

Is there a technical term for artificial light diffusion on snowy nights?

If you’re sighted and have experienced a heavy nighttime snowstorm in an illuminated urban area, you know what I’m talking about: the sandwich of light between the snowy white ground and snowy white sky, infusing the landscape with the soft white light of a frosted light bulb—-sometimes enough to read by, certainly enough to see by. (It must be coming from the ambient artificial lighting; my personal experience is that snowy nights on back country roads are darkness manifest.)

This is a subcategory of skyglow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyglow); I’ve come across “snowglow”, for light reflected from snow-covered ground (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/light-reflected-fresh-snow-can-outshine-moon) but the article specifically discusses snowglow’s contribution to urban light pollution and interference with astronomical observation—-necessarily implying clear nights.

“Whiteout” overlaps with what I’m looking for, but specifically denotes reduced visibility; I get the impression that a whiteout need not be nocturnal or involve artificial light sources: http://www.awstats.net/whiteout/

“Diffuse reflection” seems to cover it somewhat: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffuse_reflection

To repeat: what I have in mind is the reciprocal reflection/diffusion of light from sources within the space between the snowy sky and snowy ground.

Search terms:

“artificial light diffusion on snowy nights”
“diffuse light snow”
“diffuse reflection snow artificial light”
Tags: ~climate/weather, ~science (misc), ~science: astronomy, ~science: physics

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