Everyone seems to know the phrase ‘Red sky at night, Shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, Shepherd’s warning’.
In fact, the rhyme is so old that it’s even in the Bible.
However, do you actually know what it means when there is a red sky in the morning?
Well luckily for you, we’re here to inform you if you don’t.
As the rhyme suggests, a red sky in the morning is a ‘shepherd’s warning’.
This means that you should expect bad weather such as a rainstorm.
As shepherds work outside, they would need to be prepared for bad weather.
Meanwhile, a red sky at night as the rhyme says, is ‘shepherd’s delight’.
This means there is likely to be good weather the next day.
What actually causes a red sky, though?
During the winter months, high pressure in the atmosphere leads to cold, dry days with light winds.
As a result of this, particles like dust get trapped in the air.
When the sun rises and shines on these particles, it creates a pink-red hue in the sky.
Whether there is any truth in the ‘shepherd’s warning’ depends on where you are.
In countries like the UK, where the weather systems move from west to east, the rhyme does hold some truth.
A red sky in the morning in these places if often an indicator that the weather is clear to the east, where the sun rises from, but cloudy overhead, which suggests the clouds, and potential bad weather, are only just starting to come in.
This also explains why a red sky at night is thought to indicate good weather on the horizon.
However, in the tropics, this rhyme wouldn’t really make sense.
This is because the prevailing winds and weather systems move in the opposite direction.
So there you have it, next time someone says the rhyme, you can explain exactly what it means – you’re welcome!
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