Wednesday, January 9, 2013


“Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning”

St. John’s residents woke up to an incredible sunrise this morning. The Sun rose up through the narrows illuminating the horizon with a blood red hue.

Normally, I have my digital SLR camera  with me. This morning I left it at home. The sunrise would have made for some great pictures! The view from the Confederation building was fantastic.

Weather lore about morning red skies has been around for a millennium. Growing up in a fisherman’s household meant that one was very much aware of the weather. The forecasts, barometer and sky conditions were acutely watched.

Shakespeare commented on the havoc that a red sky in the morning could bring for sailors. An example can be found in his play Venus and Adonis. “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.”

What does it mean for us?  A red sunrise reflect dust particles indicating that a storm system is moving in from the East.. The fierier the red sky, the higher the water content in the atmosphere.  

How accurate is that assumption. Well, Environment Canada has issued a forecast calling for a winter storm tomorrow and Friday. Heavy snow is forecast for Thursday night and Friday. Winds are expected to gust to 100km per hour.

Sailors warning indeed.

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