Pink Sky At Night, Sailors Delight; Pink Sky In Morning, Sailors Warning

When I was a child I was told the saying “Pink sky at night, sailors delight; Pink sky in morning, sailors warning”. This means that if there is pink sky at night there will be good weather tomorrow. But, if there is pink sky in the morning there will be bad weather the same day. This quote originally came from biblical content. “When it is evening, ye say, fair weather: for heaven is red. And in the morning, foul weather today for the heaven is red and lowering”. This is referring to sailors and the saying is carries a very similar concept as the quote. As a child, I believed this 100%. I frequently used this to check the weather and was always sure that it was right. Although it is very credible, the saying has some faults which I had never realized before I grew up.

The bible is not very credible in modern day because there is no way to prove anything, but there is scientific research backing up this quote. Since weather systems generally travel from west to east in the mid latitudes, an approaching mid- and high- level clouds to create a red sky in the morning would be illuminated. This is because the sun rises in the eat and sets in the west. This proves the high possibility of bad weather being produced in the morning when there is red sky. When the sun is setting with an existing weather system exists and high pressure is building, then the departing clouds would be illuminated. This proves the high possibility of red sky at night with good weather to come the following day.

Although the sky turns red during these times, how does the sky do it? This is a result of scattering sunlight by suspended particles and aerosols in the atmosphere. These materials are maximized in the lowest layers of the atmosphere when it is dominated by high pressure. So, when these materials are all under high pressure it allows us to see the red sunrises and sunsets that had been formed by them. There is a lot of scientific truth behind the saying. However, there is a lot of fault in the quote that goes unnoticed. Although I say red, the sky appears to be more pink to the human eye when illuminated.

A mentioned before, weather systems move west to east. Weather systems occasionally move south to north, however. If this happened, the saying would not work. The saying is back up by perfect ideal weather conditions, but even weather has its faults. Nature is unpredictable so we could never fully guess what the weather is going to be. Even the weather men are wrong on occasion because although the weather can be predicted, it is only predictable to some extent. it is proven that this quote holds a lot of credibility, but it is not fully credible. Therefore, it is not truthful.

As a child, I failed to understand the faults within the rhyme “Pink sky at night, sailors delight; Pink sky in morning, sailors warning”. In my eyes the quote held non arguable logic which could never be proven wrong. Knowing these facts now, I see why the saying could be right but also wrong if nature takes it course. As a teenager, I know that the saying is sometimes wrong, but I still follow it. There is more truth to the quote than there is wrongs. Sometimes people such as me choose to follow scientific misconceptions because they are easier to follow or understand.


Pink Sky In Morning With Sunrise (c) Mdf, CC BY-SA 3.0

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