The weather is a topic many British people like to talk about. Mainly because of how awful the weather can be on these islands, but it is a very common conversation starter indeed!

The way we describe the weather in English is either by using the gerund ‘ing’, or by using an adverb. For example, if you see rain outside, you can either say it’s a ‘rainy day’ or ‘it’s raining’. We use these two forms for every time for weather imaginable, except for lightning, where we say ‘There’s lightning’.

Some other examples include snowy and snowing, drizzly and drizzling and sleeting and sleety.

No matter what season it is, there are a handful of standard words you would naturally use to describe the weather outside. Perhaps it’s sunny, bright, partly-cloudy, overcast, windy or raining. However, there are so many more interesting ways to describe the different seasons. So, let’s take a look at season-specific vocabulary.

Spring Vocabulary

Spring is definitely welcome by all. It’s when everything reawakens after a cold winter. The ice melts, the flowers start to bloom, and the trees come alive. Many people take this opportunity to spring clean after a winter spent indoors, throwing open their windows and doors for a bit of cool fresh air.

Bloom: when plants and flowers start to flourish
The tulips are always the first spring flowers to bloom.

Breeze: a gentle wind
There is a fresh breeze this afternoon, a relief from the howling winter winds.

Bright: sunnier and lighter
Since the clocks have been turned back the days are so bright, it’s lovely!

Drizzle: light rain
Some days there is a light drizzle, but you don’t need an umbrella.

Fresh: not hot but not cold
It’s a perfect day for a walk outside, the air is so fresh.

Summer Vocabulary

Then comes summer: the temperature increases, the sun becomes brighter and the days become lazy and long. The outdoor season has begun, and life is definitely easier when the weather is good.

Boiling / scorching: very hot
Today is a scorcher, it’s boiling! We need to swim.

Blue skies: clear skies that are a feature of summer days
I woke up this morning to blue skies, what a perfect day.

Heatwave: unusually hot weather
I wish I wasn’t stuck in the office during the heatwave, I want to be enjoying the outdoors.

In the shade: find refuge under the cool trees away from the sun
It’s too hot today, let’s a find a spot to sit in the shade.

Autumn Vocabulary

After a hopefully long, hot summer autumn is up next. Jumpers and jerseys come out, meals get warmer and leaves turn yellow and red. It’s time to get cosy!

Crisp: cool and fresh
Who doesn’t love a bright crisp autumn day.

Foggy: a thick cloud that restricts visibility
It was difficult to see far this morning as it was so foggy.

Getting colder: warm weather is turning cooler
I can feel the evening are getting colder.

Winter Vocabulary

And then just like that it’s winter. Dark evenings and snowy days are frequent, and people spend most of their time indoors shielded from the harsh elements outside.

Below zero / bitter cold: freezing cold
I heard this weekend is going to be bitterly cold, I think it’s better we stay indoors.

Howling winds: strong winds
The sound of the howling winds woke me up in the middle of the night.

Icy: very cold
The wind this evening feels so icy cold.

Winter blues: feeling gloomy during the season
The long dark nights give me the winter blues.

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