A Candyfloss Sky

“Sailor’s warning on 19 November 2019.”

I awoke to a sky as sweet as spun sugar at 07:30 the other morning. Typical of the weather saying ¹

“Red Sky at night – Sailor’s Delight,
Red Sky in the morning – Sailor’s Warning”

the day soon disintegrated into the grey and gloom we have been experiencing for what seems weeks now. Virtually every day has seen rain at some point. Last night was no exception, but I am happy to say it has been sunny and dry since midday, though those ominous black clouds still lurk in the distance.

¹ Cold fronts usually move from west to east. When a cold front is to the west of your location, the morning sun is reflected in the cloud to the west and shows the cloud to be red, due to the angle of the sun’s rays hitting the cloud. This means that there is a system to your west that may come your way, bringing bad weather. This explains why “Red sky in the morningsailors take warning“. Conversely, red sky at night means that the sun’s rays coming from the west are turning the sky to the east red. The cloud (and associated weather system) has passed over your location and you can anticipate moderating weather. That explains why “Red sky at night, sailors delight”.


  1. beetleypete says:

    I always say that, and now I know why it’s true. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I always say that and had to explain it to a friend Spanish-speaking native. Don’t know if it holds, but never fail to go by it.

  3. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely, painterly shot. Thanks for the explanation. I’ve believed the saying my whole life without ever thinking about the science behind it 😬

  4. susurrus says:

    What a lovely sky to wake up to! I was brought up with a version of the saying that has shepherds instead of sailors.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I believe the saying with shepherds comes from the bible.

  5. bushboy says:

    Amazing sky Jude 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      All too few at the moment Brian, sadly ☹️

  6. restlessjo says:

    Well, knock me down with a feather! The things I learn around here, Jude 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I aim to please 😁

  7. My similar rhymes feature shepherds, not sailors! Thanks for the science

  8. Well there you go. I always think of that rhyme when I see a red sunrise, but I never thought about the science behind it. But my version is shepherds not sailors too.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Shepherds version is from the bible I believe.

  9. I used to love a fiery morning sky in the days when I was rowing despite the dire warning they implied. Thanks for the science explanation. I’d never actually thought about the Why.

    1. Heyjude says:

      How’s the she shed by the way? Have you sorted the garden area? I’d love to see it again.

      1. Loving the she shed but the landscaping has not even begun. Although, a recent frenzied weeding at least means I no longer need a machete to get to it. 😜
        Summer holidays on the way after Christmas so I’ll make it my mission to get it done just so I can share it with you. (I have the plan in my head, it just needs executing.)

  10. LensScaper says:

    A fantastic sky

    1. Heyjude says:

      It didn’t last long, but was very pretty.

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