Sep 19 2012

Red Sky At Night

Published by at 7:10 am under Weather & Sky

The sunset was gorgeous last night after yesterday's heavy rain.  It reminded me of the old saying:

Red sky at night, sailor's delight
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Though this saying is folklore, it's a fairly accurate way to predict the weather.

When the sun is at a low angle, its light passes through more of the atmosphere and the blue-green wavelengths are stripped out, leaving mostly red.  We see a pretty sunset when the reddish light reflects on the underside of clouds.

Clouds are key to the folklore weather prediction.  They come from the west, they indicate moisture, and they might bring rain or storms.

As shown in last night's photo, during a red sunset the clouds are close to us and the sky is clear in the far west.  Clear skies in the west mean good weather is on its way.

During a red sunrise, the clouds are overhead or in the west but the clear skies have already passed over to the east.   Morning clouds often indicate bad weather will arrive that day.

Taking a cue from last night's sunset, I can safely predict that today will be a very fine day.

NOAA says so, too.   😉

(photo by Kate St. John)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Red Sky At Night”

  1. Rob Protzon 19 Sep 2012 at 9:19 am

    A handy link to have is the one for the Pittsburgh graphical weather forecast at:

  2. Marcy Con 19 Sep 2012 at 11:36 am

    YOU are taking great photos now….sunset was interesting here, but not as bright as this…beautiful!!!! 2 hummers here today and lots of birds…

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