101 Words To Describe Weather

101 Words To Describe Weather


Writers know that using the weather in their descriptions is a great way to make stories more relatable. Use this comprehensive list of words that describe weather when you write.

Writers Write is a resource for writers and we have written about words that describe taste, smell, sound, and touch in previous posts. (We even have one for words that describe colours.) In this post, I have included words that describe weather.

Weather is a wonderful tool for writers. We can use it to foreshadow, create a mood, complicate a plot, show a character, and increase or decrease the pace of a story. We can even use it as a motif.

A setting without the weather is like a character without a wardrobe.

Remember that we need to describe weather through our characters’ interactions with their environments. We should not describe it like a weather report. You could show how cold it is by the clothes they choose to wear or mention the weather in dialogue.

Whatever you do, don’t leave it out. There are unintended consequences to a lack of setting, including a static character, a lack of atmosphere, an inability for the reader to relate to the place and time in the story, and a lack of details.

What Is Weather?

According to Oxford it is ‘the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.’

Words To Describe Weather

General Words Describing Weather

  1. climate – the type of weather that a country or region has
  2. climate change – changes in the earth’s weather, including changes in temperature, wind patterns and rainfall, especially the increase in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere that is caused by the increase of particular gases, especially carbon dioxide
  3. meteorology – the scientific study of weather
  4. seasonal – suitable or typical of the time of year it is now
  5. spell – a period when there is a particular type of weather
  6. weather forecast  – a report on likely weather conditions for a period of time in the future
  7. zone – one of the large areas that the world is divided into according to its temperature

Words Describing Warm Weather

  1. balmy – warm and pleasant
  2. blistering – extremely hot in a way that is uncomfortable
  3. dog days – the hottest days of the year
  4. heatwave – a continuous period of very hot weather, especially when this is unusual
  5. Indian summer – a period of warm weather in autumn
  6. scorcher – an extremely hot day
  7. sunny – not stormy or cloudy
  8. thaw – ice and snow turns into water
  9. the heat – very hot weather
  10. tropical – like weather near the equator, climate that is frost-free

Words Describing Cold Weather

  1. bleak – very cold and grey
  2. biting – so cold that it makes you feel uncomfortable
  3. brisk – fairly cold and a fairly strong wind is blowing
  4. crisp – cold and dry
  5. fresh – fairly cold and the wind is blowing
  6. frosty – cold enough to produce frost
  7. hard – a very cold winter
  8. harsh – extremely cold and unpleasant
  9. icy – very cold, like ice
  10. raw – cold and unpleasant
  11. snowy – covered with snow

Words Describing Pleasant Weather

  1. calm – very little wind
  2. clear – no clouds, rain, etc.
  3. clement – pleasant because it is neither very hot nor very cold
  4. cloudless – no clouds in the sky
  5. equable – does not change very much
  6. fair – pleasant and not raining
  7. fine – sunny and not raining
  8. pleasant – dry and neither very hot nor very cold
  9. still – without wind
  10. temperate – a temperate climate or region is never extremely hot or extremely cold
  11. windless – without any wind

Words To Describe Unpleasant Weather

  1. bone-dry – completely without water or moisture
  2. fierce – very strong or severe
  3. foul – unpleasant, with rain, snow, or wind
  4. gale-force – an extremely strong wind
  5. gusty – the wind blowing in gusts
  6. harsh – extremely cold and unpleasant
  7. humid – hot and wet in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  8. muggy –  warm in an unpleasant way because the air feels wet
  9. murky – dark and unpleasant because of fog, clouds, etc.
  10. severe – extremely unpleasant and likely to cause harm or damage
  11. sultry – the air is hot and slightly wet
  12. threatening – clouds, skies, or seas show that the weather is likely to be bad
  13. torrential – rain falling in large amounts
  14. unseasonable – not the type of weather that you expect in a particular season
  15. windy – with a lot of wind

Words To Describe Wet & Cloudy Weather

  1. bank – a large mass of cloud or fog
  2. billow – a cloud that rises and moves in a large mass
  3. blizzard – a snowstorm with very strong winds
  4. cirrocumulus – small round clouds that form lines high in the sky
  5. cirrostratus – a thin layer of cloud found very high in the sky
  6. cirrus – a type of thin cloud found very high in the sky
  7. cloudy – full of clouds
  8. column – something that rises up into the air in a straight line
  9. cumulonimbus – a mass of very tall thick cloud that usually brings rain and sometimes thunder
  10. cumulus – a large low white cloud that is round at the top and flat at the bottom
  11. dull – when there are a lot of clouds and it is rather dark
  12. fog – a thick cloud that forms close to the ground or to water and is difficult to see through (fog is thicker than mist)
  13. fogbound – not able to operate normally because of thick fog
  14. foggy – full of fog or covered with fog
  15. gather – if clouds gather, they start to appear and cover part of the sky
  16. grey – when it is not very bright, because there is a lot of cloud
  17. hurricane – a violent storm with very strong winds
  18. inclement – unpleasantly cold or wet
  19. lower – if clouds lower, they are very dark, as if a storm is coming
  20. mist – small drops of liquid in the air
  21. misty – lots of mist in the air
  22. nimbus – a dark grey rain cloud
  23. overcast – a sky completely full of clouds
  24. pall – cloud that covers an area and makes it darker
  25. pea souper – thick low cloud that prevents you from seeing anything
  26. scud – clouds moving quickly
  27. sea mist – a thin low cloud that comes onto the land from the sea
  28. steam- the wet substance that forms on windows and mirrors when wet air suddenly becomes hot or cold
  29. storm cloud – a very dark cloud
  30. squall – a sudden violent gust of wind or localized storm, especially one bringing rain, snow, or sleet.
  31. thundercloud – a storm cloud producing thunder
  32. tsunami – an extremely large wave in the sea
  33. typhoon – a violent tropical storm with very strong winds
  34. vapour – very small drops of water or other liquids in the air that make the air feel wet
  35. vog – smog that contains dust and gas from volcanoes

Words To Describe Changes In Weather

  1. break – if the weather breaks, it changes unexpectedly, and usually becomes worse
  2. break through – if the sun breaks through the clouds, it appears from behind them
  3. brighten up – if the weather brightens up, it becomes sunnier
  4. clear up – if the weather clears up, the clouds or rain go away
  5. close in – if the weather closes in, it becomes unpleasant
  6. cloud – to become darker because grey clouds are forming in the sky
  7. ease – if bad weather such as wind or rain eases, it becomes less strong
  8. fickle – weather that is fickle changes often and unexpectedly
  9. lift – if something such as cloud or fog lifts, the weather improves and you can see clearly again
  10. melt away – if ice or snow melts away, it changes into water as it gets warmer
  11. thaw – if the weather thaws, it becomes warmer and causes ice or snow to change into liquid
  12. track – if weather tracks in a particular direction, it moves in that direction

The Last Word

I hope these words that describe weather help you with your writing.

If you’re looking for help with describing setting, buy our Setting Up The Setting Workbook.

More Posts Like This One:

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  2. 140 Words To Describe Mood In Fiction
  3. 75 Words That Describe Smells
  4. 20 Words Used To Describe Specific Tastes And Flavours
  5. 209 Words To Describe Touch
  6. 204 Words That Describe Colours
  7. 106 Ways To Describe Sounds
  8. Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language
  9. 350 Character Traits

 by Amanda Patterson
© Amanda Patterson

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Sources:
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/general-words-for-climate-and-the-weather
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/warm-and-hot-weather
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/words-used-to-describe-cold-weather
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/words-used-to-describe-calm-and-pleasant-weather
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/words-used-to-describe-unpleasant-weather
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/moisture-in-the-air-clouds-and-cloudy-weather
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/changes-in-the-weather

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This article has 1 comment

  1. Hendrik Boom

    And nowadays there’s also Pyrocumulonimbus.

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