Celestun, Yucatan — Thursday’s red dawn on the Gulf Coast was a social media sensation.
The day began with a crimson sky. A Facebook user named Jesús Flores shared numerous photos taken at the Celestun port, and those made the rounds on numerous online sites.
The incident brings to mind the ancient mariners’ rhyme, “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
This rule of thumb has been used for weather forecasting for the past two millennia. The reddish glow of the morning or evening sky is caused by haze or clouds related to storms in the region.
Early skies are red when clear skies over the horizon to the east permit the sun to light the undersides of moisture-bearing clouds. The saying assumes that more such clouds are coming in from the west.
Conversely, to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west, so the prevailing westerly wind must be bringing clear skies.
Thursday’s red skies occurred while potential Tropical Cyclone 16 moved through the Gulf of Mexico, headed toward the United States. Rain and thunder are expected in Yucatan today.
With information from Wikipedia