100+ top ways to talk about weather in English [+ break the ice!]


Karolina Assi


Berlitz China

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 100 ways to talk about the weather in English.

After checking the weather in English, these friends headed to the beach.

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.

Women horse riding and talking about the weather 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.

English IPAPronunciation
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.

The beautiful aurora borealis is an example of extreme weather 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.

English IPAPronunciation
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.

Man climbs to the top of a mountain to enjoy the weather in English.

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.

English IPAPronunciation
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

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 rainFeeling fine
Come rain or shineNo matter what
Every cloud has a silver liningWhen you hope that everything will turn out fine even in a bad situation
It’s raining cats and dogsIt’s raining heavily
Lightning fastVery fast
On cloud nineExtremely happy; blissful
To be a breezeTo be super easy and enjoyable
To chase rainbowsTo try to achieve something impossible
To feel under the weatherTo feel bad
To have a face like thunderTo be very angry
To have one’s head in the cloudsTo have unrealistic ideas about something
To rain on someone’s paradeTo ruin someone’s plans or pleasure
To steal someone’s thunderTo steal someone’s praise or take away attention from them
To take a rain checkTo rearrange a meeting
To throw caution to the windTo 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.

Example 1:

  • 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.

Example 2:

  • 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!

Example 3:

  • 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.

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!

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