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An Easy Guide to Talking About Weather in English

Whether you’re standing in the grocery checkout line or meeting new people at a party, the weather is a popular conversation starter.

Many of us keep the weather forecast on our phones, and it helps us decide what we’re going to do for the day.

In this post, you’ll learn all the terms you need to talk about weather in English, like describing sunny days, stormy days and all those in between—as well as why the weather is considered such a hot topic. 


How to Talk About Weather in English

Whether you’re at the coffee machine or waiting your turn at the post office, you might get into a casual conversation with the person next to you about what’s happening outside.

Here are some phrases to talk about the weather in English.

1. How’s the weather? / What’s it like out there?

Both of these are good questions to ask if you haven’t gone outside in a while, and you’re wondering if things have changed.

Or maybe you’re still debating about whether or not you want to venture (go) outdoors, so you might ask this to someone who comes inside.

2. What’s the temperature like (out there)?

This question is asking about degrees in Fahrenheit or Celsius. However, people are typically looking for an approximate temperature:

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It’s around 40°.

Of course, an answer like the following is still acceptable:

It’s really (hot/cold/warm/cool). 

3. What’s the weather forecast?

If you’re planning a trip or event, you might want to know the weather ahead of time. Forecast simply refers to what kind of weather is expected in the coming days or weeks.

4. What a beautiful day!

Use other adjectives like nice or gorgeous to make your descriptions more interesting.

5. It’s warm and sunny outside.

This is a simple sentence using two or more descriptive adjectives.

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It’s warm and windy outside.

Blue skies is a phrase meaning a sign of good weather:

There’s nothing but blue skies outside.

6. We couldn’t ask for better weather.

Here the use of the comparative adjective better suggests that the weather is so good that it couldn’t get any better. You could use other comparative adjectives like nicer or more beautiful.

We couldn’t ask for nicer weather this week!

7. This is the best weather we’ve had all season!

The superlative adjective best is used to show that this weather is simply the best and nothing else can be better. You can also use worse with this sentence structure.

Here’s another example:

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This is the most beautiful weather we’ve had all week!

This is the worst weather we’ve had all spring! 

8. Awful weather, isn’t it?

Using the question form can be quite refreshing, especially when you expect the person to agree with you. You could use similar adjectives like nasty or terrible instead.

Nasty weather today, isn’t it? 

9. It’s boiling hot!

The word boiling is used here as an adjective, not as a verb, to create an image of how hot it is. You could also use adverbs like extremely or really.

10. It’s freezing outside!

In this simple sentence, you may use any verb in its -ing form to describe the weather, such as pouring (raining very heavily) or sizzling (very hot).

11. I can’t believe this weather!

Here’s a simple way to express your surprise. Feel free to use any other suitable noun such as storm or wind.

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12. It’s raining cats and dogs!

This is a popular idiom (expression) for saying that it’s raining heavily. Have fun with it.

13. It looks like rain.

Here you’re saying it looks like it might rain in the near future. It could be that you can see dark clouds or hear thunder. You could use other nouns like snow or a storm.

14. A storm seems to be coming this way.

The phrase seems to be suggests that a storm is likely to be coming. You could also say:

Heavy rain seems to be heading this way.

15. The weather will be warming up soon.

Warming up means the temperatures will be rising and it’s getting warmer. The opposite of that would be:

The weather will be cooling down soon.

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16. It’s expected to be hotter than last year.

The phrase expected to be suggests that you think it’ll happen.

Use a comparative adjective here to compare the weather now with another time in the past. You could use other comparative adjectives like colder or less windy.

The Difference Between Weather vs. Climate vs. Temperature

In English, the words “weather,” “climate” and “temperature” usually aren’t interchangeable. This means they have slightly different meanings.

Weather is used to describe what’s going on outside. For example, the weather can be stormy, sunny, cloudy or rainy.

Climate refers to the weather tendencies of a place. For example, the climate of Texas—a state in the United States—can be described as scorching hot summers and mild winters.

Finally, the temperature  is how hot or cold it is outside. In most countries, the temperature is expressed in degrees Celsius. But in the United States, you’ll hear the degrees in Fahrenheit.

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Examples of temperatures are 85 degrees, 90 degrees and 32 degrees.

More Useful Weather Words in English

If you’re looking for more vocabulary to help you talk about the weather in English, here’s everything you need:

Words to Describe the Weather in English

English WordExample Sentence
Hot Today is so hot that I've been sitting under the fan all day.
Warm When the weather is warm, I prefer light clothing like t-shirts.
Cold Don't forget your coat; it's cold outside.
Cool On cool days like today, you should be fine with a light jacket.
Sunny On sunny days, I like to take the kids to the beach.
Rainy Rainy days are the best time to stay home and read a book.
Clear Isn't it great that we're having such clear days this week?
Cloudy It looks cloudy; you should bring an umbrella in case it rains.
Dry Bush fires are common around here when the weather is dry.
Humid The weather's been so humid lately it's impossible to go outside without breaking a sweat.
Foggy Be sure to turn on your headlights when driving through foggy areas.
Misty It's misty up in the mountains in the mornings.
Gusty It's been gusty all afternoon and my umbrella was blown away.
Windy As we were walking along the beach, it started to get windy.
Thunder Whenever there's thunder, my dog rushes into the house in fear.
Lightning My dog is scared of lightning during storms.
Overcast It's pretty overcast today. It's probably going to rain.
Gloomy I don't like gloomy days because they put me in a bad mood.
Bright It's so bright outside! I can hardly see.
Freezing It's freezing outside! It's only 15 degrees.
Breezy I like going for runs on breezy days because I don't sweat as much.
Snowy Wisconsin is a very snowy state in the United States.
Frosty The windows on my car get so frosty in the winter.
Scorching It's scorching hot today.
Icy Be careful, the bridge is icy because of all the snow.
Muggy All of this humid weather has made the air muggy.
Wet I don't like leaving my house when it's wet outside.
Hazy The afternoons are hazy during the summers in the south.
Dreary Dreary weather with lots of clouds makes me sleepy.
Stormy It's a really stormy day with all this thunder and lightning.

Vocabulary for Extreme Weather Conditions

English WordExample Sentence
Storm The storm last night knocked out the power.
Flood After the heavy rains, a flood inundated the lower part of the city.
Hurricane The coastal town was evacuated due to the approaching hurricane.
Tornado A tornado warning was issued for the county until 9 PM.
Drought Farmers are struggling with the crops due to the severe drought.
Blizzard Schools were closed due to the blizzard.
Thunderstorm The picnic was ruined by a sudden thunderstorm.
Hailstorm The hailstorm left dents in many cars.
Heatwave There's a heatwave this week with temperatures above 100°F.
Cold snap A cold snap hit the region, with temperatures plummeting overnight.
Typhoon The typhoon caused major disruptions to flights.
Cyclone Villages were evacuated in anticipation of the cyclone.
Lightning storm The lightning storm lit up the night sky.
Frost Early morning frost can be seen on the grass.
Gale The sailing event was canceled due to strong gales.
Sandstorm Visibility was low during the sandstorm.
Monsoon The monsoon season brings heavy rains and flooding.
Mist The morning mist made the landscape look magical.
Fog The heavy fog caused delays in morning traffic.
Sleet Sleet made the driving conditions hazardous.
Snowstorm A snowstorm is expected to hit the region this weekend.
Drizzle A light drizzle began to fall in the evening.
Downpour The downpour was so intense that streets were quickly flooded.
Whirlwind The whirlwind caused chaos at the outdoor market.
Ice storm The ice storm left a beautiful but dangerous layer of ice on everything.
Thunder The sound of thunder could be heard in the distance.
Wildfire Smoke from the nearby wildfire clouded the sky.
Avalanche Skiers were warned about the risk of avalanche in the mountains.
Heat lightning Heat lightning was visible on the horizon on a hot summer night.
Mudslide Heavy rains triggered a mudslide in the hills.
Dust devil A small dust devil was seen swirling across the field.
Dust storm The dust storm reduced visibility and air quality.
Flash flood The sudden flash flood took residents by surprise.
Haze A thick haze from the forest fires covered the city.
Rainbow After the rain, a beautiful rainbow appeared.

Weather Clothes and Accessories in English

English WordExample Sentence
Raincoat Make sure to wear your raincoat today, it's going to pour.
Umbrella She always carries an umbrella in her bag in case of unexpected rain.
Sunglasses On bright days, sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes.
Sunhat A sunhat can help shield your face from the harsh summer sun.
Boots During the rainy season, waterproof boots are a must-have.
Scarf He wrapped a scarf around his neck to stay warm in the chilly breeze.
Gloves She put on her gloves to keep her hands warm in the snow.
Thermal underwear Thermal underwear is great for extra warmth during winter hikes.
Windbreaker A lightweight windbreaker is perfect for brisk, windy days.
Sweater He donned a cozy sweater to combat the autumn chill.
Mittens She prefers mittens over gloves for keeping her hands warm.
Snow boots Snow boots are essential for walking in heavy snowfall.
Rain hat Don't forget your rain hat, it's drizzling outside.
Wool socks Wool socks are great for keeping your feet warm in cold weather.
Parka When the temperature drops, a parka is the best defense against the cold.
Poncho A poncho is a convenient and quick way to stay dry during a sudden downpour.
Beanie A beanie will keep your head and ears warm in the winter.
Trench coat A classic trench coat is stylish and perfect for rainy days.
Fleece jacket For a hike in the mountains, a fleece jacket is a warm and lightweight choice.
Waterproof pants Waterproof pants are essential gear for hiking in wet conditions.

Weather Idioms in English

English IdiomMeaning
It's raining cats and dogs Heavy rainfall; a very heavy or intense rainstorm.
Under the weather Feeling unwell or sick; in poor health.
Break the ice To initiate a conversation in a social setting; to make people feel more comfortable.
Weather the storm To endure a difficult or challenging situation; to overcome adversity.
On cloud nine Feeling extremely happy or joyful; on top of the world.
A ray of sunshine Something that brings joy or hope into someone's life; a positive influence.
Chase rainbows To pursue unrealistic goals or dreams; to seek something unattainable.
Head in the clouds Being absent-minded or daydreaming; not paying attention to reality.
Throw caution to the wind To take a risk; to act without worrying about the consequences.
Every cloud has a silver lining In difficult times, there is always a positive aspect or outcome.


So there you have it—a great list of weather words and phrases to get you talking about weather like a native speaker.

I expect you’ll warm up to (get used to) these sentence structures pretty quickly!

While knowing this vocabulary is a big step forward, understanding the nuances of how native speakers actually use these terms is even more important. That’s where a resource like FluentU can come in.

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Finally, remember to practice the words, phrases and questions in this post so you can feel comfortable using them in conversations.

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