In pictures: Red sky on an October morning

7th October 2019 Last updated at 10:02

'Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning', as the saying goes... But what a stunning sight for some of us to wake up to.

It certainly made the Monday morning commute a little easier.

Thank you to BBC Weather Watchers for sharing these sunrise images.

Red sunrise over London
Steel City Watcher/Weather Watchers
Steel City Watcher captured the red sunrise from Kensington, London
Red sky over the sea
Coastal JJ/Weather Watchers
The red sky in Selsey, West Sussex, was photographed by Coastal JJ
Red sunrise by a train platform
AGirlWithAView/Weather Watchers
Making the Monday morning commute a little easier. Photo taken in Woolwich, London
Red sky by a house
Abu/Weather Watchers
It was an equally beautiful start to the day in Reigate, Surrey
Red skies
High Lions/Weather Watchers
Ampleforth in North Yorkshire was immersed in deep reds
Red sky by a wind farm
Dipps/Weather Watchers
A tranquil morning at the wind farm in Hartlepool
Red sunrise by the coast
Springs/Weather Watchers
A dazzling dawn was seen Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex
Red sunrise by a street
Hinge and Bracket/Weather Watchers
Clouds added texture to a beautiful dawn in West Blatchington, Brighton and Hove
Red sunrise by a river
Jerry/Weather Watchers
Trees silhouetted during a vivid sunrise in Pitsford, Northamptonshire
Red sunrise by London skyline
Dr Hock/Weather Watchers
Another spectacular view of the London skyline against the red sky
Red sunrise
hopper68/Weather Watchers
Glorious colours in Rutland, photographed by hopper68

Why does a red sky appear at sunrise and sunset?

The saying is most reliable when weather systems predominantly come from the west as they do in the UK. "Red sky at night, shepherds delight" can often be proven true, since red sky at night means fair weather is generally headed towards you.

A red sky appears when dust and small particles are trapped in the atmosphere by high pressure. This scatters blue light leaving only red light to give the sky its notable appearance.

Weather systems generally travel from west to east in the mid latitudes. Because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, a rising sun in advance of an approaching weather system would illuminate the approaching mid and high level clouds to create a red sky in the morning.

Alternatively, if the sun is setting as a weather system exits and high pressure is building, then the departing clouds would be illuminated. This would create a red sky at night with fair weather to follow.

So this saying is valid in mid latitudes if the timing of weather systems is just right. That is, clearing in the east at sunrise with approaching clouds and clearing prior to sunset in the west as clouds exit to the east.

If weather systems and their associated clouds are moving from south to north (as can occasionally occur), however, then the saying does not hold.