WEATHER FOLKLORE -Red Skies

music

Folklore about weather is usually more colorful than factual. Frogs don’t necessarily jump before a rainstorm and a green Christmas doesn’t guarantee a snowy Easter. But there’s one category of folkloric advice that often rings true. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience: thunderstorm

“Red sky in morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”

Mark Wysocki is an instructor in Meteorology at Cornell University.

“The red sky at night indicates that, in our latitudes, between basically 30 and 50 degrees north or south of the equator, we have a phenomenon called the jet stream, and this jet stream basically moves our weather systems from west to the east. So if you wake up in the morning and you see a red sky, that means that it’s clear towards the east and the clouds are overhead and they’re reflecting the red sunlight. That means that to the west is the cloud deck and that’ll be moving from west to east and therefore you can expect rain to be moving into your area. If you see a red sky at night that means it would be clear towards the west and that means that clearing air is moving your way. “

“Most of the folklore dealing with the clouds and with the winds came from farmers and from the ancient mariners. So their livelihood depended on making very good observations. So most of the folklore dealing with clouds, and also with the wind observations, is very accurate. For instance, if you see a halo around the moon, it foretells that within 18 to 24 hours you should expect a storm system to move into your area. This has a great deal of science behind it since storms create a family of clouds, and the clouds which occur out ahead of an approaching storm are the very high clouds, the cirrus clouds.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

music

WEATHER FOLKLORE -Red Skies

Certain predictable weather patterns have been captured in colorful and accurate proverbs.
Air Date:06/09/1992
Scientist:
Transcript:


music

Folklore about weather is usually more colorful than factual. Frogs don't necessarily jump before a rainstorm and a green Christmas doesn't guarantee a snowy Easter. But there’s one category of folkloric advice that often rings true. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience: thunderstorm

"Red sky in morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight."

Mark Wysocki is an instructor in Meteorology at Cornell University.

"The red sky at night indicates that, in our latitudes, between basically 30 and 50 degrees north or south of the equator, we have a phenomenon called the jet stream, and this jet stream basically moves our weather systems from west to the east. So if you wake up in the morning and you see a red sky, that means that it's clear towards the east and the clouds are overhead and they're reflecting the red sunlight. That means that to the west is the cloud deck and that'll be moving from west to east and therefore you can expect rain to be moving into your area. If you see a red sky at night that means it would be clear towards the west and that means that clearing air is moving your way. "

"Most of the folklore dealing with the clouds and with the winds came from farmers and from the ancient mariners. So their livelihood depended on making very good observations. So most of the folklore dealing with clouds, and also with the wind observations, is very accurate. For instance, if you see a halo around the moon, it foretells that within 18 to 24 hours you should expect a storm system to move into your area. This has a great deal of science behind it since storms create a family of clouds, and the clouds which occur out ahead of an approaching storm are the very high clouds, the cirrus clouds."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

music