Weather in Depth: Pink skies Thursday morning

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We have all heard of it: “Pink skies in the morning, sailors take warning” and “Pink skies at night, sailors delight.” But is there truth to it?

The answer is yes! What is just weather folklore does have some meaning to it, and here’s why.

Firstly, we need to know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This is important, and we will get to why in just a moment. Typically, weather in our part of the world moves from west to east — which means when more active weather rolls in, clouds move from west to east. The clouds are important because when the sun rises, or sets, the clouds reflect and refract that sunlight to create the gorgeous reds, oranges, and pinks we see in the sky. Usually “pink skies in the morning” typically means that stormy weather is on the way because those clouds delivering the colorful sunrise are building from our west and stormy weather is to follow. Just like what we had Thursday morning, and with rain in the forecast for the near future. “Pink skies at night” are typically a sign of more pleasant weather conditions on the way, as the clouds which brought us rain or snow are moving east and away from our region.

This isn’t 100% fact, as we know, because weather can come from either direction here in Rochester — but in most cases this is true as our weather on a typical basis moves from west to east!