How to: Read the Skies
Red Sky at Night – A sailor’s delight. In many places, weather moves west. If the setting sun shines through clouds, turning them reddish, bad weather has likely already passed.
Red Sky in the Morning – A sailor takes warning. If the sunrise reddens clouds, it can mean that weather’s heading for you – especially in England, where the weather usually comes in from the east.
Cloud Direction Changes – In the best weather, clouds move in one direction with the trade winds of the area (from the southeast in much of the North Atlantic, for example). A quick change means rougher weather ahead.
Stratocumuli Become Stratus – When those cotton-ball-looking clouds turn to the greyer, less defined sort and start blocking out the sun, you could very well be looking at rain within 12 hours.
The Squall – Like a wall of darkness stretching from the clouds to the water and blocking out any semblance of a horizon, the squall looks like weather. If it’s in front of you, batten those hatches. – CR