Describing the weather
good, great, nice, fine, lovely, beautiful, wonderful, excellent, gorgeous, fair, pleasant, balmy;
bad, awful, terrible, nasty, lousy, foul, rotten, miserable, unpleasant, dull, gloomy, ugly;
sunny, warm, hot, mild, cool, chilly, cold, freezing, icy, frosty; very cold; bitter cold;
rainy, wet, humid, dry, arid, frigid, foggy, windy, stormy, breezy, windless, calm, still;
a spell of good weather; a two-day spell of sunny weather; a spell of rainy weather;
Sky: cloudy, overcast, cloudless, clear, bright, blue, gray (BrE grey), dark; a patch of blue sky.
What's the weather like? How's the weather?
The weather is nice today. The weather is good today. The weather is awful today.
Nice weather, isn't it? Terrible weather, isn't it? It's a nice day, isn't it?
It's warm today. It's hot today. It's cold today. It is cold and windy. It's getting colder.
The wind is blowing. The wind was cold and strong. A strong wind was blowing.
It's humid. It's hot and humid. It's cloudy, but there's no rain. Maybe it will rain at night.
It looks like rain. It's going to rain. It's supposed to get warmer in the afternoon.
It's raining. It's raining hard. It's snowing. It's snowing hard. I wish it would stop raining.
Weather phenomena and related words
warm sun; hot sun; blazing sun; sunshine, sunlight, sunrays, sunbeams;
bright sunshine; bright sunlight; a patch of sunlight; daylight, moonlight;
sunrise, sunset, day, night, dawn, morning, noon, afternoon, evening, twilight, nightfall, midnight.
wind, breeze; a gust of wind; a blast of wind; strong wind; high wind; light wind;
cool wind; warm wind; brisk wind; fresh wind; cold wind; piercing wind;
easterly wind; northerly wind; southerly wind; westerly wind;
hurricane, windstorm, whirlwind, tornado, typhoon, gale, dust storm, sandstorm, tropical storm.
heavy rain; pouring rain; steady rain; constant rain; cold rain; warm rain; light rain; gentle rain;
rain, rainfall, rain shower, downpour, deluge, rainstorm, drizzle, hail, sleet;
a drop of rain, a droplet, a raindrop; rainbow.
fog, haze, mist, smog; foggy, hazy, misty, smoggy; dew; dewy;
thick fog; dense fog; heavy fog; patchy fog; a blanket of fog;
pea soup (informal) – thick yellow fog.
Thunder and lightning
thunder; thunderstorm; thundercloud; distant thunder; faint thunder; loud thunder;
a clap of thunder, a thunderclap; a bolt of thunder, a thunderbolt;
lightning; a flash of lightning; a bright flash of lightning; a bolt of lightning.
heavy snow; deep snow; fresh snow; light snow; wet snow; falling snow; melting snow;
snow, snowfall, snowstorm, blizzard, frost; thaw; slippery roads;
snowflake, snowdrift, snowbank; ice, icicle.
winter, spring, summer, autumn; fall (AmE); early spring; late autumn; Indian summer;
springtime, summertime, wintertime; spring season; summer season; fall season; winter season;
dry season; wet season; rainy season; cold season; warm season;
cold winters; extremely cold winters; mild winters; cool summers; warm summers; hot summers.
Climate: cold, cool, warm, hot; mild, moderate, temperate, severe; wet, damp, humid, dry, arid;
a cold climate; a relatively mild climate; a dry climate; a warm climate; a hot climate;
a continental climate; a maritime climate; cold climates; hot climates; a wide variety of climates;
The climate of Siberia is continental, with cold winters and warm summers. The climate of this region is cold and wet.
Ireland has a cool maritime climate. Yalta has a warm subtropical climate. I would like to live in a warm climate.
France has three types of climate. Agriculture in mountainous regions is restricted by climate and relief.
earthquake, volcanic eruption, hurricane, landslide, landslip, avalanche;
flood, deluge, tidal wave, tsunami, drought, fire;
disaster, catastrophe, cataclysm.
Other words and phrases
Nature, environment, ecology; air pollution; water pollution; acid rain; the cutting down of forests;
industrial waste; chemical waste; toxic waste; nuclear waste;
the ozone hole; the greenhouse effect; global warming.
weather report; weather forecast; weather man; thermometer, barometer;
climate; temperature; atmospheric pressure; wind, rain; cold, warm;
humidity; cloudiness; precipitation; three inches of snow.
Sample weather reports
Mainly cloudy with a little drizzle. Slight chance of a rain shower. Northeastern wind at 5 to 10 mph. Temperature below normal in the north and central regions. Near normal for southern regions. Maximum temperature 50°F (10°C).
Cold and dry in the morning, warmer later. Windy and increasingly cloudy with sunny periods. Rain expected at night, with 40 percent chance of showers. Maximum 58°F in the afternoon. Strong wind expected Monday, with temperature in low 50s.
Windy and cloudy with occasional rain. Humidity 73%. Cold westerly wind at 25 mph (40 km/h) gusting to 40 mph (64 km/h) is expected tomorrow.
Sunny in the morning with cloudy intervals later in the day. Chance of rain 50%. Isolated thunderstorms possible. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the upper 60s.
Heat wave expected. Temperature 97–98 degrees F (36–37 degrees C) to 101–103 degrees F (38–39 degrees C) for the next three days. High atmospheric pressure.
Fahrenheit and Celsius
Fahrenheit is a temperature scale in which water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees.
Celsius, also called Centigrade (centigrade), is a temperature scale in which water freezes at zero degrees and boils at 100 degrees.
Fahrenheit is used in the U.S.; Celsius is used in the other English-speaking countries.
Freezing point of water: 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius.
Boiling point of water: 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius.
Room temperature: 65–68 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18–20 degrees Celsius.
Nice warm weather: 72–81 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22–27 degrees Celsius.
Cold frosty weather: 0 degrees Fahrenheit, or –18 degrees Celsius.
Normal body temperature (in the mouth): 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Celsius.
Normal body temperature (in the armpit): 97.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 36.6 degrees Celsius.
Illness: 100–104 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38–40 degrees Celsius.
Oven: 300°F is 149°C; 350°F is 177°C; 400°F is 204°C; 500°F is 260°C.
Some more equivalents
Note: A few figures below have been rounded off to the nearest whole number.
–58 degrees Fahrenheit is –50 degrees Celsius;
–40 degrees Fahrenheit is –40 degrees Celsius;
–22 degrees Fahrenheit is –30 degrees Celsius;
–15 degrees Fahrenheit is –26 degrees Celsius;
–10 degrees Fahrenheit is –23 degrees Celsius;
–4 degrees Fahrenheit is –20 degrees Celsius;
0 degrees Fahrenheit is –18 degrees Celsius;
5 degrees Fahrenheit is –15 degrees Celsius;
10 degrees Fahrenheit is –12 degrees Celsius;
20 degrees Fahrenheit is –7 degrees Celsius;
25 degrees Fahrenheit is –4 degrees Celsius;
32 degrees Fahrenheit is 0 degrees Celsius;
35 degrees Fahrenheit is 2 degrees Celsius;
41 degrees Fahrenheit is 5 degrees Celsius;
50 degrees Fahrenheit is 10 degrees Celsius;
61 degrees Fahrenheit is 16 degrees Celsius;
65 degrees Fahrenheit is 18 degrees Celsius;
70 degrees Fahrenheit is 21 degrees Celsius;
75 degrees Fahrenheit is 24 degrees Celsius;
81 degrees Fahrenheit is 27 degrees Celsius;
86 degrees Fahrenheit is 30 degrees Celsius;
90 degrees Fahrenheit is 32 degrees Celsius;
95 degrees Fahrenheit is 35 degrees Celsius;
97.9 degrees Fahrenheit is 36.6 degrees Celsius;
98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is 37 degrees Celsius;
100 degrees Fahrenheit is 37.8 degrees Celsius;
101 degrees Fahrenheit is 38.3 degrees Celsius;
102 degrees Fahrenheit is 38.9 degrees Celsius;
103 degrees Fahrenheit is 39.4 degrees Celsius;
104 degrees Fahrenheit is 40 degrees Celsius;
110 degrees Fahrenheit is 43 degrees Celsius;
122 degrees Fahrenheit is 50 degrees Celsius;
140 degrees Fahrenheit is 60 degrees Celsius;
158 degrees Fahrenheit is 70 degrees Celsius;
176 degrees Fahrenheit is 80 degrees Celsius;
194 degrees Fahrenheit is 90 degrees Celsius;
212 degrees Fahrenheit is 100 degrees Celsius;
302 degrees Fahrenheit is 150 degrees Celsius;
392 degrees Fahrenheit is 200 degrees Celsius.
Water boils at 212°F. (at two hundred twelve degrees Fahrenheit)
Water freezes at 0°C. (at zero degrees Celsius)
The temperature outside is 18 degrees below zero. (eighteen)
The temperature outside is minus 18 degrees.
It's cold outside. It is about three degrees above zero.
It's very hot outside. It's about thirty-five degrees.
It's very hot outside. It's about ninety-five degrees.
My temperature is normal. My temperature is 36.6 degrees. (thirty-six point six)
My temperature is normal. It's 98.6 degrees. (ninety-eight point six)
Conversion formulas for the curious
C = (F – 32) x 5 : 9
F = C x 9 : 5 + 32
C = (F – 32) : 1.8
F = C x 1.8 + 32
F = (C + 17.78) x 1.8
C = (F – 32) x 0.5556
Related materials: Phrases for conversations about the weather are listed in Weather in the section Phrases. Pronunciation and spelling of numbers and numerals are described in Numbers and Numerals and Numbers in Situations in the section Miscellany.
You can check your knowledge of the words and phrases above by doing Ex. 5: Weather and Temperature in the section Vocabulary.