What’s with the weather?

17 de February de 2020
A “barometer” tells us the weather. Source @ Wikimedia commons

The weather can be very unpredictable.  People love talking about the weather because it is something that affects everyone and this means that we have a lot of special vocabulary to describe rain, clouds and wind. For example, if we say “unsettled weather” this means that it might rain, but it might not! Learn more weather words here and talk about the weather like a weather professional!


Dark clouds and heavy rain ahead. There is going to be a downpour soon! Source. @ Wikimedia commons

The UK is famous for rain but did you know that there are many types of different rain? “Drizzle’ is the name for a very, very light rain which is almost unnoticeable and you do not need an umbrella. Next, we have “light rain’ and then ‘a shower’, which is a normal rain. ‘Scattered showers’ ‘outbreaks of rain’ and ‘patchy rain’ is when the rain stops and starts. Rain can also be described as ‘heavy’ and heavy rain is also called ‘a downpour’. You definitely need an umbrella for a downpour because you can get very wet!


Usually in the summer you want ‘a breeze’, a breeze is a ‘light’ wind, which keeps you cool – not hot and not cold, just right! However, a brisk wind is a cold wind like you get in winter. ‘Gale force winds’ are stormy winds and when there is a gale, you should stay safe indoors! 


The UK is also famous for it clouds.  A lot of the time it is cloudy in the UK. It can be ‘partly cloudy’ with some cloud and some blue sky. When it is ‘overcast’ there is so much cloud that the sky is completely white and there is absolutely no need for sunglasses!

Hazy sunshine Source @ Wikimedia commons

Sunny weather 

In the UK good weather is hard to find, but when there is good weather everyone is happy! We say that there are ‘clear skies’ (i.e. no clouds!) and the sky is ‘bright’ (not dark like the middle of winter).  Sometimes though, there can be ‘hazy sunshine‘ – where a little cloud can get in front of the sun making it more difficult to see.  

Watch Prince Charles give the weather forecast. Can you hear any of these words in the forecast?

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Arantxa Gaudier gazol29 de February de 2020 at 19:37

Hello Suzanne!

I feel these expressions are very useful to communicate with your colleagues. Especially here, in Illinois, where the weather is a must to talk about. I definitely learned the word “gale”.

Chicago is known as the windy city due to its gale force winds.
We are having gales lately. So we feel safer staying at home.

Thank you for the post!

    Suzanne Naylor2 de March de 2020 at 09:41

    Hi Arantxa,

    That’s true! – Chicago is also known as “the windy city!”. Have you heard of the Tramuntana? It is a strong wind which blows across Europe and it blows down the Costa Brava as it comes over the Pyrenees. In the winter it can be particularly fierce and gale force!

      Arantxa Gaudier gazol5 de March de 2020 at 17:32

      Yes! I heard about Tramuntana because I usually spend my summer in the Costa Brava. I know in the winter can be gale force there! But I feel that after leaving in Chicago, no gale force is comparable to its winds.

Jose Maria Escudero1 de March de 2020 at 22:37

Good night!
Sincerely, I found a lot of interesting words and expressions about weather! However, I’ve chosen the word “overcast” and “a brisk wind” as two words/expressions that I will try to add to my personal English vocabulary.

Thank you very much for your help, I found it very interesting.

    Suzanne Naylor2 de March de 2020 at 09:43

    Hi Jose Maria,

    Thank you for your comment! I grew up in Birmingham in the UK which was often ‘overcast’ in the winter so I have a lot of experience with this word!:-)

Albert8 de March de 2020 at 15:02

Dammmn Prince Charles speaks like wind gusts! 😀

Thanks for the new vocabulary presented. I could hear these weather words in the forecast presented by Charles:

– It’s an “unsettled” pictures we head towards the end of the week.

– The rain will be “heaviest” over the borders.

– In the West the rain will be “light” and “patchy”.

– A little “hazy sunshine” to the castle

– 8 ºC and a “brisk” North wind

The best

    Suzanne Naylor6 de April de 2020 at 09:21

    Hi Albert,

    Yes, Prince Charles has a very “posh” accent (as we say in the UK!). He has a very recognisable way of speaking and he does a good job in this video as he seems quite humorous and fun.

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