Red sky at night, sailors delight.


Senior Member.
I have often run across believers that insist that colorful sunsets are evidence of chemicals in the fake spray clouds. But the old rhyme "red sky at night, sailors delight" predates aviation by quite a bit. It is actually a useful rhyme for pre-modern-weather-forecasting days because a red sky in the evening usually occurs on the east coast of the US when there is a departing storm system and the sun shines up under high cirrus clouds. (the rhyme does not work for tropical systems approaching the east coast from the south or east).

Anyway, I had a great example of that from an unseasonably strong cool front that passed through Florida Sunday night into Monday.

The first picture is from Monday evening (13 May 2013) which was a blustery overcast day until the late afternoon when the low clouds cleared out leaving a bit of a cirrus deck.

The second picture is about 6 pm the following day (14 May 2013). Tuesday was an absolutely spectacular day with blinding sun and not a cloud of any type to be seen


Active Member
I'm reminded of stories of how after the Krakatoa eruption of 1883, global sunsets were notably reddened for months by pyroclastic ash in the atmosphere.

These were documented in beautiful sketches by William Ashcroft, an English artist, q.v. here.

[Sorry for the weird formatting on that.]

and here


The atmosphere can display some fascinatingly weird phenomena; chemtrails and weather modification are by no means necessary to account for them.


Closed Account
On one local chemtrail forum I was banned for my first post - which was to point out that red skies in the evening were what this centuries old rhyme was all about - and not chemtrails!


Senior Member.
It was in the months after the Mt Pinatubo eruption, I was driving due west on a Dallas freeway and there were showers moving in from the west. The clouds were pink and orchid and the vergia a light green. It was really unworldly. I ended up using it in a painting of a UNICORN---and that painting sold.


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Yep - perhaps unsurprisingly the shepherd option is what I was raised on in New Zealand! :)


I was going to say exactly that. I've often heard it followed by 'red sky in the morning, shepard's warning.'

My memory is not shepard but sailor. Red sky's at night sailors delight; Red sky in morning sailors take warning. Funny how these things slightly change.


Senior Member.
Not only are the old rhymes describing red sunsets, but 17th,18th, 19th centuries artists painted them.....and not because of ash clouds, but because they were a common sight.
How do the believers (that claim red sunsets/sunrises are from "chemtrails")....justify or answer to these historical facts ?

Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi "Red Sunset" (Russian, Mariupol 1842–1910 St. Petersburg)
( )

George Inness, "Sunset" (painted in California, 1865)

It is true, that several painters were active during volcanic eruptions like Krakatoa in 1883......but not all paintings are attributed to earth-based air pollution.