A lot of us plan our days and months around the weather. That is why we have apps and other resources to update us constantly. It becomes harder to plan if you do not understand what the terms and expressions used by these apps or resources mean. Weather forecasters would typically use cloudy, bright, sunny, etc., in this post. We will be learning terms for the weather in English and other expressions that may come in handy. Keep reading to discover new and exciting vocabulary.

Pro tip: we have packed a ton of information on weather words vocabulary into this article, but you’d get a lot more if you learn English online with a dedicated professional teacher at italki. italki doesn’t function like other learning applications. It doesn’t have pre-prepared lessons, quizzes, and games. Learners can send their learning guidelines to a chosen instructor who creates personalized study plans to suit the learners’ needs and study styles.

If you think this will break the bank, you are wrong. There are several different plans to suit every budget. You can find the one that works for you and agree on a payment plan. Practice terms for the weather with other learners, language enthusiasts, and professional instructors on the italki app, which doubles as an interactive social media platform. More good news; you can sample a few instructors before deciding on the one you feel most comfortable working with.

Why is learning English weather words important?

It is common to hear people make small talk about the weather. Have you ever sat next to a stranger at a train station or the park, and they bring up the weather to start a conversation? Talk about the weather is a trendy conversation started. To respond, contribute or even initiate such discussions, you’ll need to learn the right words.

So why all of this talk about the weather? That might be because the weather changes every day and in every place, making it essential to keep up. Plus, it affects everyone and thus can be considered a universal topic. To make sure that you are not left out of these conversations, you have to come up to speed with weather words.

Understanding weather-related terminology is vital for you as a person. You don’t want to get caught in a storm or have the ill-luck of being trapped on the freeway during a blizzard. You can always make sure you and the people you love are safe.

Learn the correct terms for weather in the English language

To understand the weather and describe it, you will have to learn many adjectives (descriptive words). Some might be easier to remember than others and easier to tell the difference. Once you have the right words down, consider practicing with other people and an online English tutor on italki.

Find Your Perfect Teacher

At italki, you can find your English tutor from all qualified and experienced teachers. Now experience the excellent language learning journey!

Book a trial lesson

Let’s get right into it! Here are some common words used to describe the weather in the English language.

1.      Hot/warm

These words may be harder to master, especially for people who do not have English as their first language. You cannot use Hot and warm interchangeably. Each word describes a different state. We use hot when referring to high temperatures typical of mid-summer afternoons, while warm is used for reasonably high and bearable temperatures. E.g

  • Today is so hot. It’s a good day to visit the beach.
  • I prefer lighter clothes on warm days.

2.      Cool/cold

In weather terminology, we use cool to describe pretty low temperatures. These are typically the kind of temperatures you would experience in the spring. On the other hand, cold describes temperatures that are very low and below freezing points. It is cool on a spring day and cold in a snowstorm. Let’s see other examples:

  • Grab a coat! It’s cold out.
  • I enjoy how cool it is in the woods.

3.      Sunny/ rainy

Sunny and rainy describe two ends of the weather spectrum, so they are harder to mix up. Sunny weather means the sun has come out to play, and there’s a lot of sunshine. When the weather is rainy, there’s a lot of rain. For instance:

  • Grab your shades. It’s a sunny day.
  • Rainy days are better with a cup of hot chocolate.

4.      Cloudy/Clear

The weather today is cloudy with a chance of meatballs!

That movie sure made meteorology look cool. But what does cloudy mean? A cloudy day means there are a lot of (dark) clouds in the sky and sun, while a clear day is a sunshine, blue skies, and no sign of bad weather.

  • The forecast said we should expect clear skies today.
  • It looks cloudy. Are you sure we should head to the beach?

5.      Dry/humid

These words are used to describe the presence of moisture in the air. It is either dry – with no rain or moisture, or humid – containing much water vapor. E.g.

  • The humid air messes with my hair.
  • Forest fires are common in dry weather.

6.      Foggy/misty

We use these words when describing hazy weather conditions. It is caused by tiny droplets of water that make it hard for people to see and can be dangerous for road users. While fog forms closer to the ground, is thicker and harder to see through, mist forms around hills and mountain tops and is much lighter. For instance:

  • Be careful driving home. It is foggy around the bridge.
  • It is usually misty up in the mountains around this time.

7.      Windy/gusty

These are words used to describe the wind. We use ‘windy’ when referring to an instance where the wind is blowing more potent than usual. Gusty is used to describe a sudden and mostly brief burst of dust. Some examples of how the words are used:

  • It was gusty some hours ago, but it’s all good now.
  • It was so windy that my hat flew off.

8.      Thunder/lightning

Most times, we use these words together in a sentence. Thunder is the loud sound, while lightning is the flashing light that follows. E.g., I am all grown up but still not fond of thunder and lightning.

Questions and phrases helpful in talking about the weather

We have already established that the weather is a popular conversation starter. So you need to be familiar with asking and answering questions regarding the subject. Here are some examples to help you prepare.

How’s the weather?

This question is suitable when you have not been outside in a while. You may use this to learn if there have been any recent changes to the weather. The response will depend on the current condition.

What’s the temperature like?

We use this question to learn the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit. You may not be able to give the exact figures, so an approximation is acceptable. You can also say it’s cold, hot, warm, etc.

What’s the weather forecast?

The weather forecast is what the expected weather condition will be like. You may need to ask this question if you want to plan. There could be an 80% chance of rain or thunderstorm etc.

What a gorgeous day!

This phrase is a great conversation starter. You can use other colorful adjectives such as beautiful and pleasant to make the term more exciting. If a person makes this statement, you can respond by saying, “it sure is!”

Blue skies

We use this phrase quite commonly in the English language. It is used when referring to a bright sunny day, typically a sign of good weather.

[Terrible] weather, isn’t it?

Have you been stuck in an airport thanks to a blizzard? You can use this phrase. It is useful when you want the person you are speaking to agree with you and join in on the conversation.

It’s [freezing/boiling/pouring] outside!

You can use any verb in the –ing form to describe the current weather. You can use the phrase to say that it is really cold (freezing), very hot (boiling/sizzling), rainy (pouring), etc.

It looks like [rain]!

“It looks like…” means “it might.” So here you are saying that it might rain. You can replace rain with other nouns such as storm or snow. This is an appropriate statement if things indicate the weather changes, such as dark clouds or strong winds.

The weather will be warming up/cooling down soon!

We use this statement to indicate that there will be a change in temperatures any time soon. It may be getting hotter or cooler.


In this post, we have learned how to describe different weather conditions and how to ask and answer questions.  We have also shared some phrases that are great conversation starters. We congratulate you on knowing the correct vocabulary but understanding the nuances of how native speakers use them is another ball game. The best way to learn English vocabulary is by getting professional help. We have experienced and dedicated teachers at italki to help you. Book lessons with us today.

Want to learn a language at italki?

Here are the best resources for you!

Thank you for reading.