It's all about the scattering of light that causes a colorful sunrise or sunset. The key ingredients to see such beautiful colors is a lack of pollution, a few high clouds, and the sun angle.
In the morning and evening hours, sunlight has to take a longer path through the atmosphere due to the low angle of the sun. For this reason, fall and winter are ideal seasons to see such beautiful colors because the angle of the sun is lower.
High clouds such as cirrus and altocumulus can catch the light that did not suffer attenuation and/or color loss by passing through our atmosphere. In other words, when the sun rises or sets, sunlight has to pass through more air than in the daytime. When sunlight travels through more atmosphere, it provides more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from our eyes. If the path is long enough, we no longer see blue skies, but we’ll begin to see hues of red, orange, pink, yellow, and purple. Clouds can help scatter and reflect light, which can influence everything outside to have a red hue like color.
That's your science lesson for today! ;)
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist