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Red sky at night.......

Posted by Peter on July 21, 2000

In Reply to: Red sky at night....... posted by Sauerkraut 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.

Thanks both, but how did the shepherds get involved in the story?