On the morning of February 10, 2011, Oklahoma broke its all-time record low temperature. Calm winds and clear skies caused the city of Nowata in northeastern Oklahoma to drop to an amazingly low temperature of 31 degrees below zero. This record low temperature was 58 degrees below normal. In contrast, the low temperature at the South Pole on the same date was only 23 degrees below zero.
Albedo is the fraction of solar energy reflected from the Earth back into space. It is a measure of the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, especially with snow on top of it, has a high albedo: most sunlight hitting the surface bounces back towards space. Water is much more absorbent and less reflective.