Jim Morton, longtime photographer for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, captured this stunning photo on the morning of January 21, 2016, just ahead of a heavy snow forecast for the High Country and much of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The photo was captioned, “This morning’s reddish sunrise above Grandfather Mountain advised sailors to take warning.”
It’s an old mariner’s saying that “Red sky at night is a sailor’s delight, red sky in morning is a sailor’s warning.” Despite the incredible beauty of a red sunrise, there may be some truth to this caution. According to the Library of Congress’ Science Reference Services, “A red sunrise can mean that a high pressure system (good weather) has already passed, thus indicating that a storm system (low pressure) may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.”
And precipitation was certainly on its way: much of the High Country and surrounding areas received up to a foot of snow in the following days.
In addition to being the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains at 5,946 feet, Grandfather Mountain is also a spectacularly scenic mountain and a globally recognized nature preserve. For more information, visit http://www.grandfather.com/.