Red sky at night, sailors’ delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

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But what if i were come tell you that this old saying actually has a bit of truth to it!


The Lore

The lore itself dates all the method back as much as the bible!

Jesus self said, “When in evening, ye say, it will be same weather: because that the skies is red. And also in the morning, it will certainly be foul weather today; for the skies is red and also lowering.”

Don’t think me? walk look that up– Matthew chapter 9, verses 2 – 3!

It wasn’t just the Bible, Shakespeare self passed on the old proverb.

But is there any type of truth come it?


The Science

Believe that or not, atmospheric science actually support this old little bit of wisdom.

High and also Low Pressure

In a an extremely broad sense, if your map a latitude around the globe you will find ridges and troughs. Or an ext colloquially, High and also Low push centers.

Low PressureAssociated with stormy weather, a short pressure center is an area of rising air in the atmosphere. The rising motion relieves the press down top top the surface ar (thus reduced pressure) but also causes the formation of clouds and storms.High PressureAssociated through dry weather and also sun, a high press is an area that sinking air in the atmosphere. The sinking or subsidence in the setting is what keeps the skies clear (for simplicity) but also causes a higher concentration of atmospheric particulates or aerosols down near the surface.



Aerosols are the tiny particles in the atmosphere that girlfriend can’t typically see with your naked eye. And they in reality play a huge duty in our weather and climate together well.Don’t think me?

This old proverb was around aerosol concentration long before we knew anything about it!

In one area that high press the subsidence means more aerosols down close to Earth’s surface. This aerosols in reality scatter the just arrive sunlight, keeping different wavelengths of light from reaching us together observers.


Sunlight or white light come in as a full color spectrum the the rainbow. Shorter wavelengths are on the blue finish of the color spectrum while longer wavelengths space on the red end of the spectrum.The concentration of aerosols keeps the shorter wavelengths of light from getting to our eyes. If the much longer wavelengths choose the reds press through, acting almost like an aggressive Instagram filter in real life!


Put It all Together

Since we space only concentrating on the red sunrises and sunsets, we only must talk about high pressure as soon as it comes to this specific bit that lore.

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Assuming predominately westerly flow (between 30 and also 60 levels latitude) the all works out quite nice.

Red sky at Night

A red sunset means there is a ridge the high press to the west. (Sun sets to the west)And due to the fact that weather patterns move west come east, the red sunset way high press is relocating in.Thus clean skies and also a sailors delight!


Red sky in the Morning

A red sunrise method there is a ridge the high push to the east. (Sun rises in the east)And because weather patterns relocate west to east, the red sunrise method high pressure is moving out.Thus, a short pressure facility must be moving in, and in addition to it storms!

Take Note

This doesn’t just occur out in ~ sea!You too have the right to observe this neat tiny bit of weather lore in your very own backyard!

So gain out the camera and also let us recognize what type of weather you are seeing connected with this red sunrises and also sunsets!