English speakers love making small talk, and talking about the weather is one of the most used ice-breakers.
So whether you want to make small talk during the coffee break at work, you’re looking to strike up a conversation with an ice-breaker, or fill in awkward silence, the weather can be a failsafe topic.
In addition, knowing the weather vocabulary and expressions will help you understand the weatherman on the TV and check the weather on the internet before your next trip.
To help you become fluent in weather-talk, we’ll share with you over 140 ways to talk about the weather in English.
How do you say “weather” in English
In English, the word “weather” is the most common word to use when talking about the atmospheric conditions outside our windows. It’s pronounced <weh-thr> in American English and <weh-thuh> in British English, and it only exists in the singular. If you’re curious why it’s simply because “weather” is an uncountable noun.
There are also other words that can be easily confused with the word “weather,” such as “climate” or “temperature.” Let’s briefly explain the differences between them:
- The word “weather” is used to describe the state of the atmosphere in terms of wind, temperature, humidity, and more. For example: “The weather outside is nice.”
- The word “climate” is used to describe the general weather of a specific region. For example: “The UK has a temperate climate.”
- The word “temperature” is used to describe how hot or cold the weather is, and it’s measured in degrees (Celsius or Fahrenheit, depending on the country). For example: “The temperature is 30 degrees Celsius.”
Talking about the weather in English
The weather is an easy topic to talk about with pretty much anyone. Here are a few key weather expressions you need to know to have a fluent conversation with weather words and phrases in English.
- What’s the weather like today?
- What’s the weather like in your country?
- How’s the weather?
- What’s the temperature today?
- What’s the weather forecast?
- Such beautiful weather today, isn’t it?
- Are you a hot weather person or a cold weather person?
- It’s hot/cold outside.
- It’s cloudy outside. It might rain soon!
- It’s raining cats and dogs!
- A storm is coming.
- It’s sunny outside but with a cool breeze.
- It’s looking like it’ll be as cold as 5 degrees this morning.
- The sun is shining outside.
- The weather’s nice today.
- Can you believe how cold it is outside?! It’s freezing!
You might also find it helpful to combine your weather expression terminology with such phrases as:
- It’s going to be hot this Sunday, should we go to the beach?
- November this year has been warmer than usual.
– and in that case don’t forget to check out our article to master the days of the week in English and the seasons and months of the year in English.
List of weather vocab in English
If you’re looking to learn the weather vocabulary you can use in conversation with anyone, you’re in the right place!
But before we share with you the most useful weather vocabulary, terms, and phrases you need to learn before you start a conversation about the weather in English, let’s go over the weather grammar.
You can use three sentence structures to talk about the weather in the present tense:
- It is + adjective: It is snowy. It is rainy.
- It is + verb-ing: It is snowing. It is raining.
- There is a + noun: There is a storm. There is a drought.
To talk about the weather in the past tense, you’ll use the same sentence structures but put the verb “to be” in the past tense (except for present perfect), for example:
- It was rainy yesterday.
- It was raining yesterday.
- There was a storm yesterday.
Everyday weather terms in English
In the UK, it’s mostly cloudy and rainy, while Canada is known for its extremely cold and snowy weather!
What’s the weather like in your country? Let’s learn some vocabulary to describe the daily weather.
|Breeze||/ ˈbriːz /||Breez|
|Clear sky||/ ˈklɪr ˈskaɪ /||Klihr skai|
|Cloudless||/ ˈklaʊdləs /||Klowd-luhs|
|Clouds||/ ˈklaʊdz /||Klowdz|
|Cloudy||/ ˈklaʊdi /||Klau-dee|
|Drizzle||/ ˈdrɪzl̩ /||Dri-zl|
|Fog||/ ˈfɑːɡ /||Fog|
|Foggy||/ ˈfɑːɡi /||Fog-ee|
|Gloomy||/ ˈɡluːmi /||Gloo-mee|
|Hail||/ ˈheɪl /||Hayl|
|Hailing||/ ˈheɪlɪŋ /||Hay-luhng|
|Muggy||/ ˈmʌɡi /||Muh-gee|
|Overcast||/ ˌoʊvəˈkɑːst /||Over-kast|
|Pouring||/ ˈpɔːrɪŋ /||Paw-ruhng|
|Rain||/ ˈreɪn /||Rayn|
|Raining||/ ˈreɪnɪŋ /||Ray-nuhng|
|Rainy||/ ˈreɪni /||Ray-nee|
|Sleet||/ sˈliːt /||Sleet|
|Sleeting||/ ˈsliːtɪŋ /||Slee-tuhng|
|Snow||/ ˈsnoʊ /||Snow|
|Snowing||/ ˈsnoʊɪŋ /||Snow-uhng|
|Snowy||/ ˈsnoʊɪ /||Snow-ee|
|Stormy||/ ˈstɔːrmi /||Stor-mee|
|Sun||/ ˈsən /||Suhn|
|Sunny||/ ˈsʌni /||Suh-nee|
|Sunrays||/ ˈsʌn ˈreɪz /||Suhn-rayz|
|Sunshine||/ ˈsʌnˌʃaɪn /||Suhn-shine|
|Wind||/ wɪnd /||Wind|
|Windless||/ ˈwɪndləs /||Wind-luhs|
|Windy||/ ˈwindi /||Win-dee|
|Partly sunny/rainy/cloudy||/ ˈpɑːrtli ˈsʌni ˈreɪni ˈklaʊdi /||Paart-lee suh-nee / ray-nee / klau-dee|
Extreme weather terms in English
When the weather is nice outside, life becomes more enjoyable, even in the difficult moments. But extreme weather conditions can not only make our lives more challenging but also carry a lot of destruction. Unfortunately, you may hear or see some of these words and phrases more frequently used in the news.
Here’s a list of over 30 extreme weather terms in English.
|Aurora||/ əˈrɔːrə /||Uh-raw-rah|
|Ball lightning||/ bɔ:l ˈlaɪtn̩ɪŋ /||Baal lite-nuhng|
|Black ice||/ blæk ˈaɪs /||Blak ise|
|Cold front||/ ˈkoʊld ˈfrənt /||Kowld fruhnt|
|Cyclone||/ sɪˈkloʊn /||Sai-klown|
|Downpour||/ ˈdaʊnpɔːr /||Down-por|
|Drought||/ ˈdraʊt /||Draaft|
|Dust devil||/ dʌst ˈdevl̩ /||Duhst deh-vl|
|Dust storm||/ dʌst ˈstɔːrm /||Duhst storm|
|Eclipse||/ ɪˈklɪps /||Uh-klips|
|Eye of a storm||/ eɪ əv ə ˈstɔːrm /||Ai of a storm|
|Flash flood||/ ˈflæʃ ˈfləd /||Flash fluhd|
|Flood||/ ˈfləd /||Fluhd|
|Frost||/ ˈfrɒst /||Frasst|
|Gale||/ ˈɡeɪl /||Geil|
|Gradient wind||/ ˈɡreɪdɪənt wɪnd /||Gray-dee-uhnt wind|
|Heatwave||/ ˈhiːtweɪv /||Hee-twayv|
|Hurricane||/ ˈhɜːrəˌken /||Hur-uh-kayn|
|Ice||/ ˈaɪs /||Ise|
|Ice storm||/ ˈaɪs ˈstɔːrm /||Ise storm|
|Lightning||/ ˈlaɪtn̩ɪŋ /||Lite-nuhng|
|Monsoon||/ manˈsuːn /||Maan-soon|
|Mudslide||/ ˈmədslaɪd /||Muhd-slide|
|Rain shadow||/ ˈreɪn ˈʃæˌdoʊ /||Rayn sha-dow|
|Rainfall||/ ˈreɪnˌfɒl /||Rayn-faal|
|Ridge||/ ˈrɪdʒ /||Rij|
|Sand storm||/ ˈsænd ˈstɔːrm /||Sand storm|
|Thunder||/ ˈθʌndər /||Thuhn-dr|
|Thunderstorm||/ ˈθʌndərˌstɔːrm /||Thuhn-dr-storm|
|Tornado||/ tɔːrˈneɪˌdoʊ /||Tor-nay-dow|
|Tropical air mass||/ ˈtrɑːpɪkl̩ ˈeər ˈmæs /||Traa-puh-kl er mas|
|Tropical storm||/ ˈtrɑːpɪkl̩ ˈstɔːrm /||Traa-puh-kl storm|
|Tsunami||/ tsuːˈnɑːmi /||Soo-naa-mee|
|Typhoon||/ ˌtaɪˈfuːn /||Tai-foon|
|Whiteout||/ ˌwaɪt ˈaʊt /||Wite-out|
Temperature in English and how to talk about
Talking about the temperature is inevitable in any weather conversation. Take a look at these essential terms related to temperature in English.
|Celsius||/ ˈselsiəs /||Sel-see-uhs|
|Degrees||/ dɪˈɡriːz /||Duh-greez|
|Fahrenheit||/ ˈferənˌhaɪt /||Feh-ruhn-hite|
|It’s chilly||/ ˈɪts ˈtʃɪli /||Its chi-lee|
|It’s cold||/ ˈɪts koʊld /||Its kowld|
|It’s dry||/ ˈɪts ˈdraɪ /||Its drai|
|It’s freezing||/ ˈɪts ˈfriːzɪŋ /||Its free-zuhng|
|It’s hot||/ ˈɪts hɑːt /||Its haat|
|It’s humid||/ ˈɪts ˈhjuːməd /||Its hyoo-muhd|
|It’s nice outside||/ ˈɪts ˈnaɪs ˈaʊtˈsaɪd /||Its nais outsaid|
|It’s very hot||/ ˈɪts ˈveri hɑːt /||Its veh-ree haat|
|It’s warm||/ ˈɪts ˈwɔːrm /||Its worm|
|It’s wet outside||/ ˈɪts ˈwet ˈaʊtˈsaɪd /||Its wet outsaid|
|It’s 30 degrees Celsius||/ ˈɪts ˈθɝːti dɪˈɡriːz ˈselsiəs /||Its thur-tee duh-greez sel-see-uhs|
|It’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit||/ ˈɪts ˈsevənti dɪˈɡriːz ˈferənˌhaɪt /||Its seh-vuhn-tee duh-greez feh-ruhn-hite|
|Room temperature||/ ru:m ˈtemprətʃər /||Room tem-pruh-chr|
Other important weather words in English
While talking about the weather may seem like the easiest conversation ever, this topic is actually way deeper than most of us realize.
So, to make your weather conversations go beyond just discussing how rainy, sunny, or snowy it is outside, we’ve prepared a list of other important weather words in English.
|Atmospheric pressure||/ ˌætməsˌferɪk ˈpreʃər /||At-muh-sfee-ruhk preh-shr|
|Autumn||/ ˈɒtəm /||Aa-tm|
|Bad weather||/ ˌbæd ˈweðər /||Bad weh-thr|
|Barometer||/ bəˈrɑːmətər /||Br-aa-muh-tr|
|Blizzard||/ ˈblɪzərd /||Bli-zrd|
|Climate||/ ˈklaɪmət /||Klai-muht|
|Climate change||/ ˈklaɪmət ˈtʃeɪndʒ /||Klai-muht chaynj|
|Dawn||/ ˈdɒn /||Daan|
|Extreme weather event||/ ɪkˈstriːm ˈweðə ɪˈvent /||Uhk-streem wuh-thr uh-vent|
|Flurry||/ ˈflɜːri /||Flur-ee|
|Global warming||/ ˈɡloʊbl̩ ˈwɔːrmɪŋ /||Glow-buhl wor-muhng|
|Good weather||/ gʊ ˈweðər /||Gud wuh-thr|
|Gust||/ ˈɡəst /||Guhst|
|Meteorology||/ ˌmitiəˈrɑːlədʒi /||Mee-tee-ur-aa-luh-jee|
|Precipitation||/ prəˌsɪpəˈteɪʃn̩ /||Pruh-si-puh-tay-shn|
|Rainbow||/ ˈreɪnˌboʊ /||Rayn-bow|
|Sea surface temperature||/ ˈsi: ˈsɝːfəs ˈtemprətʃər /||See sur-fuhs tem-pruh-chr|
|Shower||/ ˈʃaʊər /||Shau-ur|
|Spring||/ ˈsprɪŋ /||Spring|
|Squall||/ ˈskwɒl /||Skwaal|
|Summer||/ ˈsʌmər /||Suh-mr|
|Sunrise||/ ˈsʌnˌraɪz /||Suhn-rize|
|Sunset||/ ˈsʌnˌset /||Suhn-set|
|Temperature||/ ˈtemprətʃər /||Tem-pruh-chr|
|Thermometer||/ θərˈmɑːmətər /||Thr-maa-muh-tr|
|Trough||/ ˈtrɒf /||Traaf|
|Warm front||/ wɔ:m ˈfrənt /||Worm fruhnt|
|Water cycle||/ wɔ:tər ˈsaɪkl̩ /||Waa-tr sai-kl|
|Weather forecast||/ ˈweðə ˈfɔːrˌkæst /||Wuh-thr for-kast|
|Weather report||/ ˈweðə riˈpɔːrt /||Wuh-thr ruh-port|
|Weatherman||/ ˈweðərˌmæn /||Wuh-thr man|
|Wind direction||/ waɪnd dəˈrekʃn̩ /||Wind dr-ek-shn|
|Wind warning||/ waɪnd ˈwɔːrnɪŋ /||Wind wor-nuhng|
|Winter||/ ˈwɪntər /||Win-tr|
15 weather-related idioms in English
It’s a fact: English would be way less fun without its idioms. And, of course, this guide wouldn’t be complete without a list of weather idioms! Some of these are very common, but others may surprise you.
|As right as rain||Feeling fine|
|Come rain or shine||No matter what|
|Every cloud has a silver lining||When you hope that everything will turn out fine even in a bad situation|
|It’s raining cats and dogs||It’s raining heavily|
|Lightning fast||Very fast|
|On cloud nine||Extremely happy; blissful|
|To be a breeze||To be super easy and enjoyable|
|To chase rainbows||To try to achieve something impossible|
|To feel under the weather||To feel bad|
|To have a face like thunder||To be very angry|
|To have one’s head in the clouds||To have unrealistic ideas about something|
|To rain on someone’s parade||To ruin someone’s plans or pleasure|
|To steal someone’s thunder||To steal someone’s praise or take away attention from them|
|To take a rain check||To rearrange a meeting|
|To throw caution to the wind||To do something spontaneously forgetting about your commitments|
Examples of weather conversation in English
Wondering how to make small talk about the weather? We’re here to save the day! Here are three simple weather conversations you can use in any social situation to break the ice.
- Beautiful day, isn’t it?
- Yeah, the sun has been shining all day! It’s been a while since we had such lovely weather in England.
- You’re right! It’s pretty hot today.
- Yes! A great day for a nice picnic.
- It’s freezing today, don’t you think?
- Absolutely! I think it’s around 15 degrees below zero.
- Hopefully, it doesn’t snow.
- Oh, I hope it does! I love snow!
- So, what’s the weather like in your country?
- It depends on the region. We have all four seasons.
- And what region are you from?
- I’m from Tenerife. It’s always hot and sunny there!
- I love hot weather! I bet I’d be very happy there.
Interesting weather facts
If you want to impress your coworkers, friends, or family the next time that the weather topic comes up, it’s good to know a few facts and curiosities you can casually throw into the conversation.
So, here are four YouTube videos about the weather that we’ve found interesting:
- Extreme Weather by MinuteEarth
- 10 Strangest Weather Events in US History by SecretTruths
- The Incredible Logistics Behind Weather Forecasting by Wendover Productions
- 5 Creepy Weather Phenomena That Shouldn’t Be Allowed by SciShow
Extreme Weather | MinuteEarth Explains
It was a breeze, wasn’t it?
The weather is a topic that can come in handy in many situations, whether it’s to make small talk at a party where you don’t know anyone, fill in awkward silence, or chat with your coworkers during the office coffee break. And it doesn’t have to be boring!
With the vocabulary and expressions covered in this article, you’ll be able to confidently talk about all types of weather, make your weather conversations slightly more interesting – and impress your interlocutors with your English!
And if you’d like to learn more useful vocabulary to help you make small talk and spark conversations, check out the other articles on our English blog!