“It’s spectacular, isn’t it?” Marion said. “Like a painting.”
“What makes the sky look like that?” Julie asked her father. She never asked her mother questions like that because whenever she did, her mother would simply say, “Ask you father.” And so she did.
“It’s the sun’s rays glowing from just below the horizon and being reflected in the clouds,” Burt answered. “When the sun sets, sunlight has to pass through more air than in the daytime. When sunlight travels through more atmosphere, it provides more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from our eyes.”
“Oh,” Julie said, not really understanding what her father had told her. “But what does it mean?”
Burt looked at his daughter and said, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning. That’s an old saying because sailors used to use the setting and rising sun to gauge the weather.”
“How?” Julie asked.
“Because weather moves from west to east, which means storm systems generally move in from the west,” Burt said. “So when you see a red sky at night, it means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.”
Julie gave her father a questioning look, but he ignored her expression and continued, “But a red sunrise can mean that the good weather has already passed, indicating that a storm system may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.”
“Mom?” Julie said, looking at her mother for help.
“Just look at the sunset and, as your father said, take delight in it for its beauty,” Marion said. “The rest of what your father said is just him showing off.”
Written for today’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.