What Does a Yellow Sky Mean?

June 1, 2023

We've all heard the saying "When the sky turns yellow, seek shelter!” But what does this actually mean? Does a yellow sky indicate a severe storm is on the way? While this is a common piece of advice, scientists haven’t found an actual link between the color of the sky and oncoming weather. However, there are several reasons why the sky may appear a strange shade of yellow.

A yellow sky can be caused by pollution, dust, and pollen. This is especially common in big cities with high air pollution. The smog can create a yellow haze over the city, and this can also affect people’s health. In some cases, a yellow haze can also be caused by the presence of smoke from wildfires or forest fires.

Another reason why the sky can turn yellow is because of a dust storm. In this case, the sunlight that hits the Earth’s atmosphere gets distorted by the particles in the air. When this happens, the blue light rays get scattered and the red wavelengths can shine through more easily. This can make the sky look yellow or orange.

This is why the sky can sometimes look yellow at certain times of day, such as during sunset or in the morning. The sun is low on the horizon during these periods, so it needs to travel a longer distance through the atmosphere to reach the surface of the earth. This can cause the sunlight to be distorted and make it look yellow or orange to our eyes.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
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