Hey there, this is Teacher ola podcast episode 6. How to Talk about the Weather? Vocabulary booster.

My name’s Ola and I’ve been teaching English since 2013.

This podcast is for English learners who want to speak English with more confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. You’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, improve your pronunciation. Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning! 

Thank you for listening! This episode is transcribed so after listening go to my website and check how much you’ve understood. Grab the worksheet to practice question tags and some idioms. Everything I’ve prepared is waiting for you at teacherola.com/6, teacherola.com/6.

In this episode you’ll hear about: the cultural background for weather talk, you’ll get to know what common dialogues look like and finally we’ll deal with some vocabulary. Word patterns and collocations. At first, I planned to include idioms with the weather but I’ll prepare a separate episode on that matter since there’s a lot to cover! 


Have you ever heard that British people talk about the weather all the time? Well, they do talk about it quite a lot. Do you think they are passionate about the meteorology? The weather itself doesn’t seem to be the issue. Far more important is the fact of communicating and weather happens to be a perfect topic. Not too personal, not a taboo, not politics. The weather is safe, a neutral conversation starter. But not only. 

Weather conversation can be employed anytime awkward silence appears. It’s a perfect ice-breaker as well. Most importantly, in my opinion, it’s a really common way of making the first contact with a stranger. Small talk. Remember to always agree. No matter, if you like the weather or not, if you consider it ‘too cold’ or not, agree with the speaker. The reciprocal agreement is expected, and delivers a message which says, ‘I’d like to talk to you some more’. That’s the information you transmit, it’s like a code. It’s an interesting subject and I suggest doing some research on Englishness if that’s something you’re keen on. 

Ok. Let’s now have a look at some typical weather talk examples:

A: Nice day, isn’t it?

B: Mmm, yes, isn’t it?

That was a dialogue number one. Have a look at dialogue number 2. 

A: Ooh, isn’t it cold?

B: Yes, isn’t it? At least it’s sunny.

And dialogue three:

A: Still raining, huh?

B: Mmmm, yes, but at least they say it’s going to clear up tomorrow.

Ok, the last sentence in the third dialogue was:  Mmmm, yes, but at least they say it’s going to clear up tomorrow. It’s going to clear up, it’s going to stop raining.

Those three dialogues are typical examples of weather talk. Always agree, that’s the key. Yes, yes, yes., all the three dialogues started with the same word. 

Keep in mind that it’s not only in the UK that the weather is discussed widely, don’t we do this in Poland? In Poland, it’s always good to moan about it, I mean to complain. Too hot, too dry, too windy, too cloudy and on it goes. Wherever you are, whoever you talk to, the weather always serves you as a perfect conversation starter. 


Vocabulary. Let’s start with the basics:

Make the weather adjectives from nouns. For example:

Sun – sunny

Wind – windy

Fog – foggy

Ice – icy

Cloud – cloudy

Shower – showery

Heat – hot

Humidity – humid

Let’s look at some more specific weather words, we’ll talk about 4 aspects of the weather vocabulary: temperature, wet weather, wind and fog.

Let’s begin with the temperature. Cold weather.  When it’s cold you can say it’s freezing (when it’s below zero), or chilly (chilli is when it’s too cold to feel comfortable), or nippy. When firsts frosts arrive you can see a thin, white layer of ice on everything.   It’s mild when it’s not very cold, so pleasant.

The opposite now, hot weather. 

When it’s hot you can say it’s boiling (negative meaning), sweltering (also uncomfortable), scorching (aha, this word has a positive meaning), stifling (negative because it’s too hot and you can hardly breathe) or roasting, roasting. You might also talk about a heatwave. It’s a period of time which is very hot and very dry. Close or stuffy whether it’s when it’s warm and uncomfortable because there’s not enough fresh air.  When it’s humid, you feel sweaty because it’s damp and warm. More synonyms to humid: you can say: it’s muggy, it’s clammy.


Wet weather. Let’s start with light rain, that is a drizzle. For heavy rain, you can use pour. It’s pouring with rain. It’s a downpour. It’s a deluge. Or: It’s chucking it down (this phrase carries an informal register), it’s chucking it down. When the rain is short, it’s a shower. When there’s a storm you get heavy rain and strong wind. When you see lightning and hear thunder it must be a thunderstorm. 

If hailstones are battering your car, it means that little ice balls are falling from the sky, it’s also called hail, and it’s uncountable.  When rain and snow mix together while falling down, we get sleet. Yucky. When it hits the ground, after some time we find it’s brown, dirty, half-snow, half-water and that’s called slush. Like this frozen dessert – slushy. Easy to remember. If the temperature is low enough the falling snow settles, creates a white covering. It doesn’t melt, it settles. When strong wind meets with the snow we get blizzards.  Then the spring comes and the temperature falls down and it’s thawing. The temperature is low enough for the snow o melt. 

OK, wind. The basic word here is: windy, it’s windy, but there are alternatives: It’s blowy, it’s breezy. When the wind is strong enough to blow your umbrella away, it’s a blustery day. 

And the last thing for today: fog. When there’s a light mist caused by the heat, you say it’s hazy. Oh, mist, by the way, is a light fog caused by a drizzle for example. Fog, on the contrary, is thicker and we associate it with cold weather. 

I’m sure you know what smog is. This word is a blend of two other words: smoke and fog. 

We’re just about the end, but first, let’s practice. Repeat out loud:

  • Bit chilly today, isn’t it?
  • Yes, it’s freezing, isn’t it?
  • It’s really hot today, isn’t it?
  • Yes, it’s boiling, isn’t it?


Have you learnt anything new today? Did you know words like slush or sleet? Let me know what you did not know before this episode. Hey, one more thing: what’s the weather like now? Leave a comment at teacherola.com/6. Don’t forget to grab the worksheet with some idioms and question tags.

If you think someone you know could benefit from this episode, do tell him or her about it.

Don’t miss the next episode because I know you’ll love it. We’ll have a closer look at the lyrics of the song ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. If you don’t know the song, play it now and show up next Wednesday. See you then! Have a beautiful week. 

Happy learning! Bye-bye.