Red Skies At Night

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Sunset over the mountains in Elkins, West Virginia. Image:
Sunset over the mountains in Elkins, West Virginia. Image:
Many people know the old adage “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning,” but did you know it actually comes from the Bible?


Sailors and farmers used the sage advice to help predict the next day’s weather. Even Shakespeare used a version of the saying in Venus and Adonis. Today, it is still so well-known, that you can pretty much ask anyone what it means and they will be able to tell you of the impending weather.

The word’s were spoken by Jesus Himself and recorded in the book of Matthew–in red. Jesus was speaking with the Pharisees and the Sadducees who were looking for a sign from heaven and He said:

When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times? Matthew 16:2-3 (KJV)

Jesus said it. Enough for some, but science also proves it to be accurate in the mid-latitudes when the weather systems are moving from west to east.

A red sunset most often predicts a high-pressure system in on its way, which means good weather. A red sunrise often predicts a low-pressure system with the possibility of rain if the colors are deep red.

So, the next time you see a red sky, remember, Jesus spoke it in red.

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