Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    28
  • comments
    3
  • views
    11,518

Why is There Less Noise During a Heavy Snowfall?

pavelow

664 views

Is it just me or does it get quieter outside when a couple of inches of snow are falling?

Actually, the answer is a combination of both.

First of all, during a big snowfall, there are likely to be less people and other noise making devices outside, so there is less initial sound hitting they eardrums, without regard to any effect the snow has on sound waves.

What if the amount of noise made is the same before a snowfall and during/after?

Sound waves are absorbed by porous and insulating materials. Freshly fallen snow has plenty of air pockets for sound waves to get trapped in. Regularly, sounds bounce off of hard surfaces like the ground before they reach the ear, so when the snow insulates these sounds, the angles from which sounds reach the ear are greatly reduced.

The temperature during snowfall compared to a warm clear day is also a factor. Lower temperatures slow down sound waves, and sound waves, like other types of waves, refract when they change speed. During the winter, when the ground is cold, and the air is warmer, like during a clear winter day, sound waves refract down when hitting the lower colder air, making more opportunities for sound reflection.

During snowfall, the air is relatively as cold/colder than the ground, causing the opposite effect, leaving less opportunities for sound reflection, and sound get carried into the atmosphere.

Enjoy the quiet winter days/nights!



0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

×
×
  • Create New...