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Does a red sunrise mean rain?

Ben Domensino, Thursday June 15, 2017 - 09:47 EST

There was a golden sunrise in Victoria this morning, so does this mean it's going to rain today?

The adage 'red sky in the morning, shepherd take warning' is based on the premise that a colourful sunrise often precedes rain. Like most weather sayings, this is based on observations and has some merit.

Firstly, high cloud can provide a great canvas for colourful sunrises because light from the rising sun shines up onto its base and illuminates the sky. Secondly, the majority of weather systems in southern Australia move from west to east, which causes a common sequence of cloud types as they pass through. High cirrus cloud being carried by strong upper-level winds often arrives first, followed by middle-level cloud and then lower level rain-bearing clouds roll in last.

So, if you see high cloud causing a spectacular sunrise at your place, it could mean that a rain-bearing system is on the way.

Thankfully for Melburnians at work without a brolly, this isn't always the case. A strong high pressure system anchored over Victoria will push rain-bearing systems to the south, and keep most of the state dry for the rest of this week.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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