Weather Tidbits: Red Sunrise & Sunset Folklore

“Red in the morning, a sailor’s warning, red at night, a sailor’s delight”; is a common weather folklore, but is it true? A red sky in the morning is a sailor’s warning is due to high pressure exiting and low pressure coming into the area.  This will create sunlight to be scattered towards clouds from the west and reflected back; you will see the brightest red with cirrus clouds indicating an approaching storm. A red sky in the evening is a sailor’s delight as high pressure enters and low pressure exits.  This leads to sunlight being scattered towards clouds from the east and reflected back. This folklore is mainly true in the mid-latitudes where storms move west to east; but false in the tropics where systems move east to west due to the trade winds.

Categories: Weather Tidbits