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Red sky at night.......

Posted by Sauerkraut on July 21, 2000

In Reply to: Red sky at night....... posted by Barney on July 21, 2000

: : : Anyone know the meaning/origin or variations of this phrase, I have heard it applied variously to shepherds and sailors

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

: : No idea of origin, I'm just remembering the rhyme from childhood.

Whatever language Noah spoke, he probably had a variation on this one. The saying arose from observations made by sailors, who have a clear view of a 360 degree horizon. Most of the weather in the Northern Hemisphere goes from west to east in cyclic patterns of clear and rain. Thus if one sees a red sunset, there are clear skies to the west, and tomorrow will likely be nice.

However, if the sunrise is rosy, the "chunk" of good weather has passed, and rain is more likely to move in.

My ability to spell in Italian stinks, but my Italian wife knows this same little rhyme, which translated goes like this:

Rosy in the evening, expect a good time tomorrow
Rosy in the morning - rain is in the area.

: The red sky in each case if caused by the sun striking particles of dust in the atmosphere and, with the suns at a low angle, it's (poetically) peering through this dust. Rain, and other atmospherical effects clears a proportion, more rain clears more hence; we get mornings and evenings less the rosy glow.