How to talk about the weather in English?
People often talk about the weather. It’s a very common ‘small talk’ topic — especially in England. I guess because the weather is so terrible there…
But you might be asked to talk about the weather in other situations.
If you work in the hotel or tourist industry, you might have to talk about the weather. Or if you are meeting clients from another country.
You might even have to talk about it in the IELTS test or a job interview.
It is a very common subject.
But how to talk about it?
Read on, and let’s find out.
The Basic Weather Conditions
I have divided this guide into 11 main categories. These are the main kinds of weather conditions that most people experience. And the four main temperature conditions too.
Essentially, there are only SEVEN weather conditions that we need to talk about. These are:
And there are only FOUR main temperatures that we need to talk about when talking about the weather.
When talking about any of these we can just say:
There are other ways to talk about each weather condition and we can look at that in detail in each segment.
The world has some extreme weather conditions, but for the sake of this guide, we will only address the most common types of weather.
So let’s get started.
How to Talk about Sunny Weather in English
Sunny weather is probably the most popular kind of weather. People like it when the sun is shining, and the sky is blue.
Let’s take a look at some different sentences and phrases to talk about sunny weather in English.
What a beautiful day!
The sun is out. We should go outside and do something.
What a lovely day!
It’s gorgeous outside today, isn’t it?
The sun is shining — let’s go to the seaside!
(People often like to go to the sea when it is sunny. Or maybe the park or another place close to nature)
It’s really bright and sunny today!
(Bright means that the light from the sun is very strong. People might wear sunglasses)
Wow, blue skies and sunny! Perfect!
Looks like there will be lots of sunshine today.
Other Words in Connection with Sunny Weather
You might want to use some other words and phrases related to sunny weather.
Here are some for you to use:
This is where your skin is burned from the sun. Your skin might turn red and it feels hot and sensitive to the touch.
Sunglasses are special glasses people wear when it’s very sunny.
Suntanned means your skin has turned darker from being in the sun. In England, most people want to have a suntan as it looks healthy and attractive.
This is a special kind of cream that you put on your body to protect your skin from the sun.
You can use these words in sentences such as these:
I went to the beach, and it was really hot. I got sunburnt so badly!
Wow, it’s so bright and sunny today. I better take my sunglasses with me.
You look very suntanned! Did you go on holiday somewhere hot?
Can you give me some of your suntan lotion? I think I am burning a little.
Questions about Sunny Weather
- What about where you live?
- Are there many days when it is sunny and bright?
- Do you like sunny weather?
- What kind of things do you do when it is sunny?
But what if it is raining? How to talk about that?
How to Talk about Rainy Weather in English
Rainy weather is when it is raining. Most people find this weather to be unpleasant — apart from farmers, maybe!
Let’s take a look at some common English phrases to talk about rainy weather.
General Phrases for Rainy Weather
Raining again — oh no!
Looks like a spot of rain…
(This means light rain)
It’s raining outside. Have you got an umbrella?
Oh great! It’s raining!
(In England, people can be very sarcastic when talking about rainy weather!)
Phrases for Heavy Rain
It’s pouring down!
(This means very heavy rain)
It’s bucketing down/It’s coming down in buckets!
(This also means very heavy rain)
Phrases for Light Rain
Looks like some drizzle…
I think it’s drizzling outside.
It’s spitting with rain.
It’s raining, but only a shower I think.
(A shower is usually a short period of light rain)
Phrases for No Rain
Drought — a drought is a period of no rain at all. In some parts of the world, a drought can mean no crops.
There is a serious drought in some parts of the country. It hasn’t rained in weeks.
Dry Spell — a dry spell means a short period with no rain.
This dry spell has been going on for ages. Hope we get some rain soon.
Too Much Rain
Flood — a flood is when there is too much rain and water builds upon the ground. Some floods can be very dangerous.
Did you see on the news all those floods in the south? The roads were completely underwater.
Other Words Related to Rainy Weather
Here are some more words associated with rainy weather. Let’s take a look.
This is a word often used in weather reports to talk about how much rain falls in a city or region.
This is a rain that has solidified into small pieces of ice. It often causes roads to become very icy.
A rainbow is a natural phenomenon that takes place after the rain has fallen. Light passes through the water in the air and causes an arc of different coloured light to appear in the sky.
A puddle is a small pool of water that has collected on the ground during or after rain.
This is where rain has fallen and the water has mixed with the earth or soil on the ground to form mud.
An umbrella is a device that people use to protect themselves from the rain.
A kind of coat that people wear when it rains.
Special shoes that people wear during rainy weather.
And this is how to use them in sentences:
London receives a lot of precipitation every year.
The roads are very icy after all the sleet we had last night.
Oh, look! A rainbow! It’s not often you see them…
Every time it rains, my dog cannot resist jumping into puddles.
The roads get so muddy after the rain in my town.
I always forget to take an umbrella and then I get caught in the rain.
I lost my new raincoat — on the very day it poured with rain!
My kids love wearing their wellington boots in the rain.
Questions about Rainy Weather
- Does it rain a lot where you live?
- Is there very little rain?
- What do you like to do on rainy days?
- Does it flood in your hometown when it rains?
And what if there is a lot of wind? Let’s take a look at windy weather…
How to Talk about Windy Weather in English
Sometimes windy weather can be refreshing — especially on a hot day.
But sometimes the wind can be very strong and cause big problems.
General Phrases for Talking About Windy Weather
It’s windy today.
The wind is kind of strong today.
There was a bit of wind last night.
The wind is picking up.
(This means the wind is getting stronger)
Phrases to Describe a Light Wind
There’s a nice breeze blowing.
I like it if there’s a light wind when the sun is out.
It’s nice to have a cool breeze blowing.
Leave the window open — there’s a cool stream of air coming in.
(A stream can be used to describe the flow of air or water)
Phrases to Describe a Strong Wind
Did you hear those howling winds last night? Sounds like a storm.
It’s a real gale outside today!
It is blowing a storm right now! Don’t go outside!
That was a strong gust of wind…
(A gust of wind is a sudden strong wind that seems to come from nowhere)
Other Words that are Associated with Windy Weather
wind power/wind energy
A weather term used to describe the lowering of the temperature due to a wind blowing.
A wind-resistant jacket worn in windy weather.
A place that is exposed to strong winds.
wind power/wind energy
A kind of energy harnessed from the wind.
An old building with sails that uses wind to create energy to grind grain.
The glass screen at the front of a car.
Let’s look at some examples of how to use these words in sentences…
Strong winds mean that there will be a wind chill factor of 12 degrees centigrade.
I’ve had this windbreaker for years, but it has served me well.
The land here is flat, so it is very windswept.
In some parts of the country, they have these huge machines that look like fans to create wind energy.
We went to Holland and saw so many windmills.
In the summer, my windscreen gets covered in insects.
Questions about Windy Weather
- Does your country experience strong winds?
- What activities can people do if there is a strong wind?
- How does a cool breeze feel on your body?
In some parts of the world, there is a lot of fog. We should look at some terms for that.
How to Talk about Foggy Weather in English
Foggy weather usually occurs in places where warm air meets cool air. We can also see fog anywhere near large expanses of water — by a river, a lake or the sea.
During foggy weather, it can be difficult to drive.
Some General Terms to talk about Foggy Weather
Looks like thick fog this morning.
There’s a bit of fog outside — take care driving!
The weather report said it’s foggy, so there might be a traffic jam.
I love foggy weather in the morning!
Some Other Ways to Talk about Foggy Weather
It’s kind of misty this morning.
(Mist usually occurs on a mountain or by a large body of water, not in a town or city, but we still use this word to talk about fog)
It looks a bit murky this morning…
(Murky means dark)
It’s a real peasouper today!
(In London in the 50s, people described foggy weather as being like pea soup — hence, peasouper)
It’s very smoggy today…
(Smoggy means polluted, but we can use this to describe fog)
It’s very hazy outside this morning.
(hazy weather often occurs later in the day as the sun burns off all the fog)
Questions about Foggy Weather
- Does your hometown have fog?
- Do you live near any mountains or large lakes? Is there mist there in the morning?
- Do you find foggy weather romantic or mysterious? How does it make you feel?
And many countries have a lot of snow…
How to Talk about Snowy Weather in English
Snowy weather can be great fun — but it can also cause trouble for people getting to work.
Let’s take a look at some expressions for snowy weather.
General Terms for Snowy Weather
It has been snowing all night. Look outside!
So much snow has fallen in the last two hours — the roads are covered!
I love the snow every winter. It just looks beautiful!
We should go skiing — there’s so much snow on the mountains right now.
Phrases for Light Snow
Looks like some light snow — nothing to worry about.
(People might worry when it snows as the roads become difficult for driving)
Just a few snow flurries — I don’t think it’s settling.
(Snow flurries means just light snow. And we use the word settling to say whether the snow is forming layers on the ground. Sometimes the snow will just melt when it touches the ground. But if it builds up in layers, it can be a problem.)
Just a few flakes of snow.
(Flakes of snow are the small pieces of snow that we can see)
Phrases for Heavy Snow
Wow, there was a real blizzard last night! It’s covered with snow outside!
(A blizzard is a storm with snow — often it can be dangerous to go outside during a blizzard)
The weather forecast said there will be a blizzard this weekend. Maybe we should buy some food in the supermarket.
My flight was cancelled because of the blizzard.
(Airports often cancel flights during a blizzard as it is dangerous to fly)
Have you seen the hail right now?
(Hail is small pieces of ice that fall from the sky. Sometimes hail can be quite big. It makes a loud noise when it falls to the ground)
Be careful outside, it is hailing right now!
Look at the sky — I think there could be a snowstorm tonight.
The weather forecast said there will be a snowstorm — I hope school cancels all lessons!
(A snowstorm is the same as a blizzard)
Other Words Related to Snowy Weather
Here are some more words that use the word snow. Let’s look at some of them.
Slush is snow that has melted or thawed in the sun. It is soft and very slippery on the road.
This is when the snow melts under the sun.
These are special kinds of boots that people wear in the snow. They are very thick and can keep your feet warm.
These are special kinds of shoes that help you to walk on top of deep snow.
Let’s try these words out in some sentences:
Be careful when driving today — the roads are full of slush.
Now the sun is out, all the snow is turning to slush.
I’m glad the snow is starting to thaw. I can get to work on time now.
I bought these great snow boots — my feet feel so warm when I wear them in the snow.
In Canada, people often have to use snowshoes to get around.
Questions about Snowy Weather
- Does it snow in your country?
- Try to describe snow to someone who has never seen snow.
- What kind of clothes should people wear during the snow?
- What do children like to do when it snows?
But have you experienced a storm in your country? Let’s talk about that next.
How to Talk about Stormy Weather in English
Stormy weather is a combination of heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Storms can look great when you are safe at home. But if you are outside, stormy weather can be very unpleasant — or even dangerous.
Let’s look at some English expressions to describe stormy weather.
General Terms for Stormy Weather
There is a storm brewing tonight.
(We use the word brewing to talk about a storm approaching)
It’s going to be very stormy tonight — make sure all the windows are closed.
Did you see that storm over the weekend? We had to stay at home for two days.
Other Phrases and Terms for Stormy Weather
Storms usually have a lot of rain, strong wind and thunder and lightning.
Let’s look at some phrases to talk about these things.
Did you hear that thunder just now? I think there’s a storm coming.
Wow, the thunder is so loud! The storm must be right above our heads.
The lightning is very bright. Now listen for the thunder…
(Usually, we can see lightning before we hear the thunder)
Look at the lightning! It’s coming right to the ground.
This lightning is lighting up the whole sky!
(There are two main kinds of lightning — forked lightning and sheet lightning. These are not technical terms! But this is how many people describe it.
Forked lighting is like a series of spikes that hits the ground. While sheet lightning appears across the whole sky.)
Questions about Stormy Weather
- Are there many storms where you live?
- What do people do in your hometown if there is a storm?
- Are storms dangerous where you live?
- How do you feel when there is a storm?
- Do you like to look out the window at a storm? Why?
There are still some other ways to talk about the weather…
How to Talk about Cloudy Weather in English
Cloudy weather is when there are many clouds in the sky. Usually, we can’t see the sun when the weather is cloudy.
So how to talk about cloudy weather? Let’s take a look…
General Expressions for Cloudy Weather
The weather is quite cloudy today. Maybe it will rain later.
(Often, if it is cloudy, it means there could be rain later)
It’s so cloudy today… And I wanted to go to the beach today!
There isn’t a cloud in the sky! It’s so nice today!
(If there are no clouds at all, people love this kind of weather)
The temperature really drops when the sun goes behind the clouds.
Phrases for Talking about Partially Cloudy Weather
In weather reports on TV, they might say partially cloudy. But people usually just say a little cloudy.
The weather forecast is partially cloudy but clearing later in the day.
It’s just a little cloudy, so I don’t think it will rain.
Phrases for Talking about Overcast Weather
Overcast means that the whole sky is cloudy. All the sky looks grey.
The weather is overcast right now, but maybe the sun will come out later today.
It’s really overcast — shall we just stay at home?
Talking about Weather that is Clear
If there are no clouds in the sky, we say it is clear or clear skies.
The sky is so clear today — I might go fishing this afternoon.
Look! Such clear skies… I think we should go swimming.
Questions about Cloudy Weather
- Do you like cloudy weather? Why/why not?
- Does it get cloudy where you live?
Next, let’s talk about the weather in terms of temperature. When it is hot or cold, cool or warm.
How to Talk about Hot Weather in English
Some people love hot weather — while other people hate it.
During hot weather, people like to go to the beach or go outside. They often like to go near water — like the sea or a beautiful lake or river.
But how to talk about hot weather?
Here are some ways to talk about it in English.
General Ways to Talk about Hot Weather
Wow, it’s so hot outside today!
It’s really hot… I think I need some water…
It’s so hot! It must be over 30 degrees today!
(We often talk about the temperature when talking about hot weather)
It feels positively tropical today.
(People might say this in a country that is not tropical. It’s like a small joke to talk about how hot the weather is)
Wow, it’s so hot today! I don’t think I will need to wear a jacket today…
Expressions to Talk about Very Hot Weather
There are a few ways to talk about very hot weather in English. Take a look below…
Wow, it’s boiling hot! Please put on the air-con!
(In English, we talk about the weather being boiling hot. In the same way that we boil water to make tea.)
It’s boiling — I’m so glad I wore shorts today.
It’s scorching hot! Maybe we should go to the beach!
It’s a real scorcher today… Let’s buy some ice cream.
Other Words Related to Hot Weather
These are some other words that you might see or hear when we talk about hot weather.
This is a kind of illness, like flu, that people might get after being in the hot sun for too long.
This is an extended period of very hot weather.
This is the amount of moisture in the air — usually accompanied by hot weather.
Let’s see how these words are used in a sentence.
I went hiking in the hot sun this morning and now I have heatstroke.
It looks like a heatwave! It’s been over 30 degrees every day for a week!
It’s so humid, I can barely move.
This humidity is very uncomfortable. I am covered in sweat!
Questions about Hot Weather
- Does it get hot in your country?
- How do people feel about it?
- Do you like hot weather?
- What do you like to do if it is very hot?
- What clothes do you wear in hot weather?
- What food or drinks do you like when it is hot?
How to Talk about Warm Weather in English
Talking about warm weather in English is quite simple. There are not so many ways that we can express talking about warm weather.
It’s warm today.
It’s very warm today.
It’s nice and warm today.
(we use the word nice when talking about weather that feels comfortable)
It’s finally getting warmer! So I can stop wearing all my winter clothes…
Questions about Warm Weather
- What do you think about warm weather?
- What clothes do you like to wear in warm weather?
- What food or drinks do you like in warm weather?
How to Talk about Cold Weather in English
When talking about cold weather, there are more expressions we can use. Mainly, because cold weather can be so extreme.
General Expressions to talk about Cold Weather
It’s so cold today!
It’s getting really cold these days…
Can you believe how cold it is today?
The weather forecast said we will get a cold front tomorrow.
(A cold front is an approaching mass of cold air)
I can’t believe how mild it is these days…
(We use the word mild to describe when the weather turns from cold to slightly warmer. It may not be warm, but it doesn’t feel as cold as before.)
Phrases to talk about Very Cold Weather
The weather is so icy cold; I don’t want to go outside.
It’s really cold, but when the wind blows, it just feels icy.
It’s bitterly cold today. I think I will stay indoors all day.
I can’t believe this freezing cold weather. I can’t stand it!
The weather report said it will be below freezing today.
(People talk about the weather being below freezing. This means less than zero. It is a strong indication of it being very cold!)
Other Words Related to Cold Weather
Here are some other words related to cold weather.
This is a buildup of a thin layer of ice on a solid surface. You might see this in a cold place in the morning.
This is a very painful injury to fingers or parts of your face if exposed to extremely cold weather for too long.
This means below zero. We might talk about the cold weather in terms of temperature — minus 10 degrees centigrade.
This means to wear a lot of clothes during very cold weather.
We might wear many layers of clothing during very cold weather.
This is an approaching mass of cold air to a region.
And here are some ways to use these words in a full sentence.
I love to see frost on all the grass in the morning in the winter.
Put some more clothes on! It’s freezing cold and you could get frostbite!
It must be minus ten today! So cold!
We should bundle up today. The weather report said it would be below zero today.
Put plenty of layers on. It’s getting much colder.
This cold front is terrible! It feels much colder now!
Questions about Cold Weather
- Does it get cold where you live?
- Do you like cold weather? Why/why not?
- What kind of food do you like to eat in cold weather?
- What clothes do you wear in cold weather?
- What do people do when it is cold?
- What can you see in cold weather?
How to Talk about Cool Weather in English
Just as with warm weather, there are not so many terms to describe cool weather.
Here are some ways to talk about cool weather in English
General Expressions to talk about Cool Weather
The nights are getting cooler now that Autumn is coming.
It feels very cool recently. I might have to wear a jacket.
It’s nice and cool after the hot summer.
The air feels a little fresh this morning.
(We often talk about the air feeling fresh when it is cool. This is to describe the air feeling cooler and less humid.)
It’s nice and fresh in the mornings now.
It’s getting a little chilly these days. Time to start wearing warmer clothes.
(Chilly means much cooler, becoming almost cold.)
I love the crisp morning air in the Autumn.
(Crisp is another way to say fresh.)
Questions about Cool Weather
Does it get cool in your hometown?
Do you like cool weather?
What do you eat or drink during cool weather?
What do you wear in cool weather?
What do people like to do in cool weather?
I think it is a good idea to look at some longer ways of talking about the weather. Let’s practice some long extracts talking about the weather next.
People Talking About The Weather
Look at these extracts of people talking about the weather.
Read them out loud to yourself. Stand up straight and look in the mirror. Imagine yourself talking to someone about the weather as you read out loud.
This will help you in the long term.
We’ve been so lucky these last few days. It’s just been glorious weather all week.
The sun has been out every day and blue skies too. I’ve been in the garden practically every day, cutting the roses and making it all look beautiful.
Over the weekend, we all went down to the coast. The children wanted to play on the beach and go into the sea. And the water was just lovely!
I really hope this good weather continues. We need more sunny days like this — it makes everyone so happy.
I can’t believe the rain we’re having lately. It’s rained every day for almost a week now. And not just light showers — full-on heavy rain every day. I don’t know where it’s coming from.
Still, I suppose it’s good for the plants and trees. They love it.
But I haven’t been able to go outside at all. I like to go running most mornings but no chance of that in this weather.
Oh well, maybe next week the sun will come out.
We wanted to go cycling down to Moorstown last week, but we had to cancel it. The wind was so strong — it looked like a hurricane!
Trees were bending in the wind, and there were lots of leaves and dust blowing around.
We thought it would be too dangerous to go out on our bikes, so we had to postpone the trip.
When I was a little boy, London used to have really thick fog. We used to call it pea soup — because it seemed the same colour and thickness as pea soup.
It really was quite bad. There were times when the fog was so thick, that people had to direct buses in which direction to go. They would stand in front of the bus and point left or right.
And some people died from it. It caused serious health problems.
It snowed last winter, and it was the first time my daughter, Lily, had ever seen snow.
She was so happy!
Even though it was very cold, she couldn’t help jumping around in the snow outside.
We made a snowman and had a snowball fight too. She loved it so much.
But the next day, the sun came out and all the snow started to melt. As it thawed, Lily was very upset. She thought the snow would last forever!
I was driving to Manchester last week when we had that big storm.
I couldn’t believe the rain! And then the thunder and lightning.
It became a little difficult to drive, so I pulled into a services station and had a cup of coffee. The storm looked very dramatic from inside though.
I hate it when it’s cloudy. It just makes me feel miserable. The whole sky is grey, and it just looks really depressing.
And it makes it feel cold somehow too. Even if it is still summer, if it’s cloudy, the temperature takes a bit of a drop.
So I’m not a fan of cloudy days…
The days are so hot now. I wake up and I am covered in sweat — and it’s only seven-thirty in the morning.
Then I have to sit in my car and drive to work in this unbearable heat. I have the air-con on all the way, but it seems to do nothing.
I think the temperature must be over thirty degrees every day this week. I can’t seem to do any work, because I feel so uncomfortable.
The only good thing about the heat is at the weekend. I take the kids to the swimming pool and we all dive into the water. It’s not even that cold — it feels like swimming in a bath.
But the water makes me feel more comfortable.
I will just be glad when the summer ends and the days start getting a lot cooler.
I’m glad the days are getting warmer. It’s so nice to be able to go outside and take a walk around.
And as the days get warmer, all the flowers are starting to come out too.
For weeks I have been wearing thick sweaters and coats — but now it’s nice and warm and I can just wear a light jacket.
Wow, it is freezing these days!
I wake up and dread getting out of bed. Even with the heating on, it still feels so cold.
And then on the way to work — it’s terrible! I have to wear so many layers. I’m all bundled up in all my winter clothes and it feels so uncomfortable.
Then when I get to the office, all the heating is on and I feel like I am sweating.
No, I don’t like the cold weather at all!
Read each extract out loud. Try to imagine you are the person talking about the weather each time.
Then you can write your own extract and talk about different weather conditions by yourself.
Now let’s look at some questions…
Questions to Ask about The Weather in English
There are many different ways we can ask about the weather in English.
Let’s take a look at some common questions.
Some of the things you may see here are not actually questions — they are statements — but they are a good way to start a conversation about the weather.
Everyday Questions about The Weather
- How’s the weather today?
- What’s the weather like today?
- What’s the weather like today?
- What’s it like outside?
Questions and Statement for Nice Days
- What a beautiful day, right?
- Nice weather, huh?
- What a great day!
- It’s so nice out today, isn’t it?
- Nice day, right?
- The weather’s nice today, right?
- I don’t think we could ask for better weather!
- How about this weather/What about this weather!
- Wow! It’s gorgeous today!
Questions and Statement for Days with Bad Weather
- I can’t believe all this rain we are having!
- When will it ever stop raining?
- Is it raining today?
- Does it look like rain outside?
- Did the weather report say anything about rain?
- Is it cold today?
- What’s the temperature today?
- Should I take my umbrella?
Try these questions or statements to start a conversation about the weather in English. Talking about the weather is a very common topic in some countries — especially in England!
You can use the sentences and phrases that we looked at before above.
Questions about The Weather
Look at the following questions about the weather. Read them out loud to yourself and answer them. Or even better — get a group together and ask each other!
- Do you check the weather report every morning?
- Is the weather report accurate? Do they always get the weather right?
- What is your favourite kind of weather? Why? Give three good reasons why you like this weather.
- Do different kinds of weather affect your emotions? How do you feel when it is sunny? How do you feel when it is raining? Or when it is cold and grey?
- Have you ever been caught in torrential rain? What happened?
- Do you like the rain? Do you like to walk in the rain? Why/why not?
- Do you like hot weather? What do you like to do when it is hot?
- Does it snow in your country? What do people do when it snows in your country?
- Which part of your country has the best weather? Describe it.
- How many inches of rain does your hometown get per year? Is it enough? Is it too much?
- What is your favourite season? Why?
- What is the coldest it gets in your hometown?
- What is the hottest weather in your hometown?
I hope this is helpful to you.
You can practice all the phrases above on how to talk about the weather in English. If you practice with your friends, this is the best way.
And let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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