“Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor takes warning.”

Nicole heard it from her father, who was a Navy sailor. While she herself doesn’t sail, she like the saying, because it reminds her of her father.

Naval culture is rife with folklore. The sea has always been notoriously fickle and unpredictable, and so many seafarers found that superstition and somewhat magical indicators of conditions to be just as reliable as any other source. This particular phrase also has some Biblical allusions, and the danger of a life at sea may sometimes manifest I a stronger religious faith.

There is some scientific basis for this proverbial observation. A high concentration of dust particles creates a red sky at night. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Generally, good weather will follow. A red sunrise reflects the dust particles of a system that has just passed from the west. This indicates that a storm system may be moving to the east. If the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means a high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain is on its way.

Annotation: Also found in the library of congress online database:

As well as similar sayings in the Bible: (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, “When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.”