#285: How to Talk about the Weather in English | Advanced Vocabulary Lesson

Aug 16, 2023 | Advanced Vocabulary

In a recent lesson, I highlighted advanced vocabulary to talk about the temperature in English– for example, scorching hot or freezing cold.

But what about the weather in general?

Depending on where you live, you might have a handful of words and expressions to describe different types of weather with

  • Sun
  • Wind
  • Clouds
  • Rain
  • Snow

In this Confident English lesson, you’ll learn 23 new nouns, adjectives, and verbs to precisely describe the weather in English.

WATCH THE LESSON

How to Talk About the Weather in English | Advanced Weather Vocabulary

Category #1: Sun

Clear

  • Def: Free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness
  • Ex. “It’s a lovely, clear day today.

Bright

  • Def: shining and emitting intense light
  • Ex. “The sun is brighter than usual today; I need to wear my sunglasses.

Harsh

  • Def: strong, unpleasant, and difficult to be in
  • Ex. “The curtains can block the harsh sunlight during the summer months.

Category #2: Wind

Breeze

  • Def: a light flow of air, a gentle wind blowing by
  • Ex. “The gentle breeze by the ocean was cool and refreshing.

Blustery/Gusty

  • Def: blowing strongly, violently, and, sometimes, loudly in sudden bursts
  • Ex. “The blustery winds made it hard to walk home.”

Gale-force

  • Def: a strong wind, often blowing at 45-90 kilometers per hour
  • Ex. “The forecast predicts gale-force winds of nearly 80 km/h.

Category #3: Clouds

Overcast

  • Def: having a sky covered or obscured by clouds
  • Ex. “It was an overcast morning, so I wasn’t too worried about getting sunburned.

Gloomy

  • Def: damp, partially dark, rainy, and with thick cloud cover
  • Ex. “The weather is so gloomy today; it’s perfect for staying in and reading books.

Dark

  • Def: black or deep gray holding rain or other precipitation, usually seen during thunderstorms
  • Ex. “The skies got quite dark just before the thunderstorm began.

*Note: Dark clouds are usually a sign that there may be a storm or rain soon.

👉 Pop Quiz:

Which word best completes this sentence?

I don’t feel like going out today. It looks so ______ outside.

(See the comments section below for the best answer.)

Category #4: Rain

Drizzle

  • Def: to rain gently in fine mist-like drops, often concentrated in particular areas and drier in others
  • Ex. “It’s starting to drizzle. We should hurry back before it really starts to rain.”

Downpour

  • Def: heavy, continuous fall of rain; pouring rain within a short time
  • Ex. “In the news, it said there will be strong winds and a downpour of rain this week.

Torrential rain

  • Def: extremely heavy downpour
  • Ex. “This season, the torrential rains ruined the farmers’ crops.”

Flood

  • Def: An overflowing of water, usually a large amount, onto land that is normally dry.
  • Ex. “In many parts of India, floods are a common occurrence.

Drought*

  • Def: long period of abnormally low rainfall, which then affects growing or living conditions.
  • Ex. “A decade after the historic drought, heavy rains are causing superblooms throughout California.

Category #5: Snow

Cold snap

  • Def: a sudden, brief occurrence of very cold weather
  • Ex. “In 2019, an intense cold snap led to burst pipes in many homes.

Bleak

  • Def: Windswept, cold, and unwelcoming
  • Ex. “The bleak weather in Iceland made me second-guess my travel plans.

Slush

  • Def: snow or ice that is beginning to melt, especially when the weather transitions from colder to warmer temperatures
  • Ex. “The streets in our neighborhood are covered in dirty, gray slush.

Black ice

  • Def: thin, new ice that forms on freshwater or dew-covered surfaces; often transparent and difficult to see in winter
  • Ex. “The car hit a patch of black ice and slid to the side of the road.

Freezing rain

  • Def: Raindrops that freeze upon touching a freezing surface, creating a layer of ice
  • Ex. “I slipped and fell going down the stairs due to last night’s freezing rain.

Sleet

  • Def: Raindrops that partially melt into snowflakes and refreeze into small ice pellets before reaching the ground
  • Ex. “The snow quickly became sleet and made driving difficult.

Hail

  • Def: Precipitation of small balls or other pieces of ice (hailstones) that often form within thunderstorms, often growing in size as they fall toward the ground
  • Ex. “Due to the hail and snow, everyone’s cautioned to drive slowly.

Blizzard

  • Def: a severe snowstorm with strong winds
  • Ex. “The blizzard swept through most of the East Coast.

Whiteout

  • Def: a weather condition in a snow-covered area in which no objects cast shadows, a horizon cannot be seen, and only dark objects easy to spot
  • Ex. “We got caught in the whiteout and couldn’t see anything.

 

👉 Pop Quiz:

Which word best completes this sentence?

We were stuck in the _______ for hours. We couldn’t even see the people walking towards us.

(See the comment section below for the best possible answer.)

Time to Practice!

Now that you have these more powerful, more descriptive options to talk about the temperature, I want you to practice.

Choose one of these questions and share your answer with me in the comments below.

  1. How would you describe the weather in your city using the words from today’s lesson? 
  2. Use the words in today’s lesson to describe the most extreme weather conditions in your country/state/city. What other weather words can help you accurately and clearly describe these extreme weather conditions?

~ Annemarie

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