The Weather

English Vocabulary

The Weather in English

In English, we usually use it is when we talk about the weather.
This is normally: It is + adjective OR It is + verb-ing

It is + adjective = A description of the weather

We can also say:
It is a + adjective + day (or morning/afternoon/night)

It is + verb-ing = This type of weather is happening now.

You can also use it is in different tenses

When you are learning vocabulary about the weather, it is important to remember that some of the words have a noun form, a verb form and/or an adjective form. For example:

It pays to learn the different forms of each word and when they are used.

Nouns and Adjectives
Many times when we are talking about the weather, we can add the letter Y to the end of a noun to make it an adjective.

Questions about the weather

People commonly ask about the weather by saying:

Weather Vocabulary in English

Vocabulary about the weather in English

We have divided this vocabulary into different categories to make it easier. We have:
Clear or Cloudy – Types of Rain – Cold stuff – Types of Wind – Mixed Vocabulary

Clear or Cloudy

Bright: (adjective) full of light; when the sun is shining strongly
Sunny: (adjective) the sun is shining and there are no clouds
Clear: (adjective) without clouds
Fine: (adjective) not raining, clear sky
Partially cloudy: (adjective) when there is a mixture of both blue sky and clouds
Cloudy: (adjective) with many clouds in the sky
Overcast: (adjective) covered with cloud; dull
Gloomy: (adjective) with dark clouds and dull light; some people consider this weather depressing

Sometimes the cloud lowers to ground level and it becomes harder to see…
Fog (noun)/ foggy (adjective): thick cloud close to land
Mist (noun) / misty (adjective): light fog, often on the sea or caused by drizzle
Haze (noun) / hazy (adjective): light mist, usually caused by heat

Types of Rain

Damp: (adjective) slightly wet (often after the rain has stopped)
Drizzle: (verb/noun) to rain lightly with very fine drops
Shower: (noun) a short period of rain
Rain: (verb/noun) water that falls from the clouds in drops
Downpour: (noun) heavy rain
Pour: (verb) to have heavy rain
It's raining cats and dogs: (Idiom) To rain heavily
Torrential rain: (noun) very heavy rain
Flood: (verb/noun) to become covered in water usually due to excessive rain

Cold stuff

Hail: (verb) when frozen rain falls as small balls of ice (hailstones).
Hailstones: (noun) the small hard balls of ice that fall from the sky
Snow: (noun/verb) frozen rain that falls from the sky as soft snowflakes
Snowflake: (noun) an individual piece of snow
Sleet: (noun/verb) snow or hail mixed with rain (often with some wind)
Blizzard: (noun) severe snowstorm with strong winds

Types of Wind

Breeze: a gentle wind (often nice or refreshing)
Blustery: blowing (strong) gusts of wind
Windy: continual wind.
Gale: a very strong wind
Hurricane/cyclone/typhoon: a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce winds and heavy rain.

What's the difference between a hurricane, a typhoon and a cyclone?
They are the same thing just with different names because of the region they are in.
Atlantic/Northeast Pacific = a hurricane
Northwest Pacific = a typhoon
Southern Hemisphere = a cyclone

Tornado: (noun) strong violent circular winds in a small area; a rapidly revolving column of air
In United States the word twister is often used instead of tornado.

The Temperature in English

We have created an entire page about the temperature in English including the different ways of saying how hot or cold it is.

More vocabulary about the weather

Drought: (noun) Long periods of time without rain causing a lack of water in the area

Forecast: (noun) A prediction of how the weather will be on a certain day

Lightning: (noun) A flash of light in the sky during a storm.

Puddle: (noun) a small pool of water on the ground, usually after rain.

Rainbow: (noun) an arch of colors in the sky formed when the sun shines through rain

Smog: (noun) a cloud of pollution hanging over a city (a fog of smoke)

Sunburn: (noun) painful red skin caused by spending too long in the hot sun.

Sunshine: (noun) the light and heat of the sun

Thunder: (noun/verb) the rumbling sound in the clouds that happens after lightning

Sentences using weather vocabulary

Questions using weather vocabulary

Next Activities

Check out our list of idioms about the weather

See how to talk about the temperature in English

GAMES: Try our game about a weather forecast and also about Weather Idioms

How's the weather today where you live?

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