LITTLE ROCK, Ark — There's something about those beautiful hues of orange and red that we see during a sunrise or sunset that just make you appreciate what Mother Nature can offer. But a red sunset versus sunrise could indicate something very different when it comes to weather conditions in the future.
"Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning."
This phrase stems from a common weather folklore that a red sky during sunrise is a sign of stormy weather down the road. It's even found in the bible. In Matthew 16:2-3 it says:
"When it is evening, ye say, fair weather: for the heaven is red. And in the morning, foul weather today for the heaven is red and lowering.”
There's some science behind what causes the skies to turn a reddish color. Cirrus clouds are much higher in altitude and are usually found ahead of large storm systems.
During a sunrise, the thin, wispy clouds are high enough to where they catch the light. During sunset, the sun’s rays reflect the back end of the exiting weather system. The red color is caused by sunlight being scattered due to particles and aerosols in the atmosphere when the sun sits low in the horizon.
Not every fiery sunrise is a sign of coming storms, but the science says it may be indicative specifically for weather systems moving from west to east in mid-latitudes.