Why the sky was so red last night, and what this means for the weather in the north-east today

Last night's sunset
Last night's sunset

If the old saying is right, we’re going to be in for a good day after last night’s stunning sunset.

Photographers across the region were out to capture the beautiful red sky – which is typically followed by a day of good weather.

And despite a wet start this morning, sunny spells are forecast for the north-east with highs of 18c.

However, the Met Office is predicting heavy showers and a risk of thunder later this afternoon before clearing up this evening.

The idea of “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning” first appears in the Bible in the book of Matthew.

The saying is often used to signify the changing weather and was originally used by shepherds to prepare for the next day.

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Lovely skies tonight! #sunset #aberdeenshire #Scotland

A post shared by Mark Mcleod (@markmcleod77) on

According to the Met Office, the red sky is caused by dust and small particles trapped in the atmosphere by high pressure. These cause the blue wavelengths to be scattered away, allowing red light to come through giving the sky its dramatic appearance.

The movement of the high pressure system in the evening typically means the following day will be dry and pleasant.

The opposite applies if there’s a red sky in the morning, which typically means the good weather has passed.


Here’s a selection of our favourite images from Instagram of last night’s sunset.