What Causes Red Clouds?
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Clouds may appear to be red, orange or pink but are not really that color. This phenomenon
usually occurs at sunrise or sunset, when the long rays of the color spectrum move through the
atmosphere. Their predominantly warm colored rays are reflected in the clouds, giving us beautiful
sunsets. If you have large mature cumulonimbus or altocumulus castellanus over the distant horizon,
you have the makings of a breathtaking sunset.
The water droplets in clouds are usually the perfect size to reflect all the visible colors of
light that hit them, creating the appearance of white. The color white is really the
presence of all colors.
In a similar fashion, the sky is blue because nitrogen, which makes up most of
our atmosphere, has molecules which are much smaller than (cloud) water particles which reflect all
visible colors of light, but exactly the right size to reflect light rays from the blue side of the
spectrum. The blue light bounces from molecule to molecule until the entire sky seems to be
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