You can experience all types of weather in the UK – and sometimes all on the same day! Here’s our guide to English vocabulary about the weather – and ways that we talk about it.
Using it’s and there
We often use “It’s” as the subject of a sentence about weather:
With an adjective: It’s hot today.
With a verb: It’s raining again.
We can use “There” with a noun
There will be more snow later.
There’s a lot of fog about.
(It’s = it is)
Here are some common adjectives to describe weather.
sunny (when there’s a lot of sunshine): “It’s sunny today
hot: “I like hot weather.”
cold: “We have cold winters in the UK.”
mild = when the weather isn’t cold: “Spring is usually a mild season.”
fine = a word to mean “nice” when we describe the weather: “It will be a fine, sunny day.”
windy = when there’s a lot of wind: “Be careful when you go out. It’s very windy.”
wet = when it rains a lot: “The roads are wet. Take care.”
dry = when there’s no rain: “It’s going to be a long, dry summer.”
cloudy: “Today will be cloudy.”
overcast = when the sky is completely grey: “It’s overcast and depressing today.”
misty = when there is low cloud in the morning: “It’s quite misty this morning.”
foggy = when you can’t see in front of you because there is low clouds: “It’s foggy today in the mountains.”
frosty = when it freezes overnight and the grass, etc is icy and white: “It’s going to be frosty tomorrow morning.”
icy = when it freezes and water turns to ice: “Road conditions are icy this morning.”
stormy: “You can expect stormy weather in winter.”
raining: “It’s raining again.”
“It always rains in summer here””
(“rainy” is also an adjective: “It’s a rainy day.”)
snowing: “It’s snowing hard. Let’s go and build a snowman!”
“It usually snows in the winter here.”
rain: “We expect rain later.”
You can also say “light rain”, “heavy rain”, or “showers” (rain that only lasts for a few minutes.)
sunshine = “The weather forecast says there’ll be sunshine later.”
fog: “I don’t like driving in fog.”
mist: “There’s often some mist in the early morning.”
ice: “Be careful of the ice on the roads.”
snow: We had lots of snow last winter.
clouds = there are different types of clouds, such as rain clouds, snow clouds and storm clouds.
floods = when there’s too much rain and the fields or roads are covered in water: “Last winter there were lots of floods.”
The adjective is “flooded”: “All the roads are flooded.”
The verb is “to flood”: “The river flooded twice last year.”
storm = when you get heavy rain and strong winds, and maybe also thunder (noise) and lightning (electricity).
Other typical English weather vocabulary
strong wind = when there is a lot of force or power in the wind
cold snap = when it is cold for a period of time
dry spell = when it is dry for a period of time
sunny spell = when it is sunny for a period of time
partly cloudy = when there is both cloud and sunshine
a heatwave = when it is hotter than usual, for a long period of time
high temperatures (rising temperatures) = when it is hot
low temperatures (falling temperatures) = when it is cold
above / below freezing = when the temperature is above 0C or below 0C.
We also say “minus”. For example -2C is “minus two”.
Now go to the next page to learn the grammar of superlatives: English Grammar: Superlatives