The weather

In Scandinavia, the chilly (1) days of autumn soon change to the cold days of winter. The first frosts (2) arrive and the roads become icy. Rain becomes sleet (3) and then snow, at first turning to slush (4) in the streets, but soon settling (5), with severe blizzards (6) and snowdrifts (7) in the far north. Freezing weather often continues in the far north until May or even June, when the ground starts to thaw (8) and the ice melts (9) again.


(1) cold, but not very (2) thin white coat of ice on everything (3) rain and snow mixed (4) dirty, brownish, half-snow, half-water (5) staying as a white covering (6) snow blown by high winds (7) deep banks of snow against walls, etc. (8) change from hard, frozen state to normal (9) change from solid to liquid under heat

Warm/hot weather

close /klsus/ [warm and uncomfortable] stifling [hot, uncomfortable, you can hardly breathe] humid [hot and damp, makes you sweat a lot] scorching [very hot, often used in positive contexts] boiling [very hot, often used in negative contexts] mild [warm at a time when it is normally cold] Note also: We had a heatwave last month, [very hot, dry period]

Wet weather

This wet weather scale gets stronger from left to right.

damp —» drizzle —» pour down / downpour —» torrential rain —» flood Autumn in London is usually chilly and damp with rain and drizzle.

It was absolutely pouring down, or There was a real downpour.

In the Tropics there is usually torrential rain most days, and the roads often get flooded.

or There are floods on the roads.

This rain won’t last long; it’s only a shower, [short duration]

The storm damaged several houses, [high winds and rain together]

We got very wet in the thunderstorm, [thunder and heavy rain]

Hailstones were battering the roof of our car. [small bails of ice failing from the sky].
Note also hail (uncountable).

The sky’s a bit overcast; I think it’s going to rain, [very cloudy]

We had a drought /draut/ last summer. It didn’t rain for six weeks.

Mist and fog

Nouns and adjectives: haze/hazy [light mist, usually caused by heat] mist/misty [light fog, often on the sea, or caused by drizzle] fog/foggy [quite thick, associated with cold weather] smog [mixture of fog and pollution (smoke + fog)]


There was a gentle breeze on the beach, just enough to cool us.

There’s a good wind today; fancy going sailing?

It’s a very blustery day; the umbrella will just blow away.

There’s been a gale warning; it would be crazy to go sailing.

People boarded up their windows when they heard there was a hurricane on the way.