27. British Weather (Lots of exciting vocabulary!!!)

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Lots of weather vocabulary and natural expressions to describe the weather. The weather is one of the most common topics of conversation. Imagine you’re doing business with someone from another country, and you have to make smalltalk. What can you possibly talk about? THE WEATHER OF COURSE! Learn some natural expressions to describe the weather and practise your listening at the same time.

Luke’s English Podcast is a free service for learners of English around the world. Use it to learn vocabulary, British English, grammar, phrasal verbs, idioms and all that kind of thing! Luke is a professional teacher with over 8 years of experience. He is also a workaholic who can’t stop teaching English for free, even when he’s on holiday. This podcast is all about the weather.

Hello everyone. I can’t write a transcript for this whole episode. It’s just too much work for me. I’m on holiday and I can’t spend the whole day writing at my computer! I need some time off! Anyway, it’s good practice for you to just listen without reading everything at the same time. Trust me – I’m an English teacher. If you always have to read and listen at the same time you will never develop proper listening skills, so please – just listen to the podcast and try to understand what I’m talking about – you do not need to understand every single word I say. Listen to the podcast 3 times. By the third time you will understand more, and you will have developed listening skills. If you have questions, please email me and I’ll do my best to answer them. The email address is: luketeacher@hotmail.com

Instead of a full transcript (which you shouldn’t rely on anyway) here are the items of weather vocab which I use and explain in this podcast. I’ve included explanations and examples for you. Aren’t I nice to you? I am, aren’t I? Aren’t I?! he he he… 😉

Weather Vocabulary which I use in the podcast:

Rain (noun or verb) – “it’s raining” “There’s not as much rain in London as I expected”
light rain / heavy rain (noun) – “expect heavy rain over the next few days” “there might be some light rain later”
a shower (noun) – a short period of rain “Expect a few light showers during the afternoon”
a downpour (noun) – a period of really heavy rain – “There was a big downpour this morning – did you see it?”
it poured down (verb)- it rained really heavily – “It absolutely poured down last night!”
drizzle (noun or verb) – rain which is made of lots of small, light rain drops – “It’s drizzling outside”
it’s spitting (verb) – it is just beginning to rain, so there are a few little drops of rain coming down “It’s spitting outside – I think it’s going to start raining”
to get caught in the rain (verb phrase) – to get wet in a rain shower which you didn’t expect – “I had to go to the shopping centre because I got caught in the rain and I didn’t have an umbrella”

Wind (noun) – “The wind was blowing really loud last night”
windy (adjective) – “it’s really windy at this time of year, isn’t it?”
a breeze (noun) – a nice, soft wind – “The ocean breeze keeps you cool if you live near the sea” “There’s a lovely breeze blowing through the open window”
a storm (noun) – a period of really bad weather with lots of rain, wind and sometimes thunder and lightning – “Don’t go outside tonight, there’s going to be a big storm”
a gale (noun) – a strong wind storm – “it’s blowing a gale out there!”
a hurricane / typhoon (noun) – a severe storm with very strong winds – hurricanes happen in the western Atlantic ocean, typhoons happen in the western Pacific ocean – “there are lots of typhoons in the autumn in Japan”

Snow (noun and verb) “it’s snowing outside! Look look!!” “the snow is falling all around” “it doesn’t usually snow heavily at this time of year”
to settle (verb) – to land on the ground and stay there without melting – “25cm of snow settled on the ground overnight”
a blanket of snow (noun) – a covering of snow on the ground – “When I looked out of the window there was a blanket of snow covering everything!”

Cold (adjective) “It’s really cold isn’t it?”
chilly (adjective) – quite cold – “Ooh, it’s a bit chilly today isn’t it?”
freezing (adjective) – very cold – “it’s absolutely freezing today isn’t it?” “I was freezing cold last night”

Hot (adjective) “hot today, isn’t it?”
mild (adjective) – a little bit warm – “Mmm, it’s quite mild for this time of year, isn’t it?”
warm (adjective) – pleasantly hot, but not too hot – “it’s nice and warm in the sunshine today”
boiling (adjective) – really hot – “have you been outside? it’s absolutely boiling today! I’m sweating…”

Humid (adjective) – hot, with lots of moisture in the air – “it’s really humid and uncomfortable in Japan in August” – humidity (noun)
muggy (adjective) – humid – “it’s hot today, but it’s so muggy too…”
close (adjective) – humid – “it’s really close today, don’t you think?”
sticky (adjective) – humid and uncomfortable, your skin feels sweaty and your clothes ‘stick’ to you – “it’s really sticky and horrible today”
stuffy (adjective) – the air in the room is not fresh – “it’s really stuffy in here, let’s open the window shall we?”

Cloud (noun) – “look at all those dark clouds in the sky” – cloudy (adjective) – “it’s a bit cloudy today. Do you think it’s going to rain?”
overcast (adjective) – the sky is covered with a layer of cloud and you can’t see the sun or the sky – “it’s so overcast today – it’s depressing, isn’t it?”
fog (noun) foggy (adjective) – cloud which is close to the ground, so it is hard to see – “if you are driving, please be careful in the fog tonight” “it’s really foggy out there tonight, so be careful when you’re driving”
mist (noun) misty (adjective) – a light fog close to the ground, usually in the morning or at night – “London looks mysterious when it’s covered in mist in the mornings”
“There isn’t a cloud in the sky” – the sky is clear
“There are some patches of blue sky up there – I think it’s clearing up”
“By the afternoon we should have a lovely clear blue sky”

Sunshine (uncountable noun) “We had plenty of bright sunshine on holiday”
to catch the sun (verb) – to get a little bit sun tanned or burned – “wow, you’ve really caught the sun today. Look at you, you’re quite burned”

Other weather vocabulary:
hail (noun and verb) – frozen rain – “there was a big hail storm this afternoon, did you hear it? They were quite big hail stones”
sleet (noun and verb) – a combination of rain and snow – “I’m not going outside, it’s sleeting. It’s horrible!”
cosy (adjective) – warm and comfortable inside, when it is cold outside – “it’s so lovely and cosy here in bed with you. Let’s stay here all day.”
grey (adjective) – cloudy and overcast – “it’s so grey and miserable today”
miserable / depressing / grim (adjectives) – it makes you feel sad and unhappy – “the weather in January is so miserable/depressing/grim”
a draft (noun) – cold air which comes though the window or under the door – “can you feel that draft coming through the window? I need new windows!”
frost (noun) – a thin layer of ice which covers everything in the morning – “I had to spend 15 minutes scraping the frost off my car windows this morning”
a heatwave (noun) – a period of hotter weather – “the summer heatwave is going to continue for another week!”
a thunderstorm (noun) – a storm which involves thunder and lightning – “did you hear the thunderstorm last night – it woke me up at 4AM”
thunder (noun) – the noise which lightning makes – “did you hear the loud thunder last night?”
lightning (noun) – flashes of light caused by electricity jumping between clouds and the earth – “wow! Did you see that lightning!” “Don’t play golf in a thunderstorm – you might get struck by lightning”
mouldy (adjective) – when something (usually food) gets covered in mould, which is a kind of fungi which grows on rotting food – “you have to keep your clothes dry in rainy season, in order to stop mould growing. You can use silica gel to absorb the moisture”

That’s it folks!

Bloody Weather!

21 thoughts on “27. British Weather (Lots of exciting vocabulary!!!)

  1. Anonymous

    Great episode luke as usual. Congratulations,you know your stuff.I don’t know if I’m wrong or not but maybe a weather word missing is sultry but I’m not pretty sure if that word is used among people. It’s when the day is cloudy or not sunny but still It feels hot and indeed people are hot and get sweated. Usually you’ll find people holding a hand fan giving them air to themselves in summer.Is sultry the right word for that? I’d be thankful if you clarify my doubt.Cheers¡

      1. Anonymous

        Thanks, Luke. It reminds me of the accents in Harry Brown. I love your site by the way, I’ve been listening to you for days.

          1. Peter

            Do you know any other similar films, featuring this accent? I’ve just seen Fish Tank, which I thought was brilliant.

          2. Peter

            You’re not gonna believe this but I started watching Attack the Block right after I posted my question. I only watched it through for the accent, though.

          3. Peter

            Cheers, Luke. “Shifty” seems alright. Make sure you watch “Ill Manors”. I know there are lots of bad “gritty brit flicks”, but this one is really good. It was written and directed by Ben Drew, who played one of the bad guys in Harry Brown, and is also known by the name of Plan B, as a rapper. What a talented guy. How about an episode of LEP on London gangster films? That’d be wicked, innit?

  2. Anonymous

    Hi Luke
    yes you are right of course. It might be better to do without a full transcript. But what am I going to do with the transcript for number 27?
    This one seems to be so easy to transcribe compared with 199 which is a real challenge!
    Have a nice day and if you open up the collaboration page I’ll copy it.

    By the way, now I know what a real real challenge is! I tried to produce the 5-minute-audio but it’s really hard for me to get used to my pronunciation and Intonation. But it’s time still time!

    1. Luke Thompson Post author

      Oh, you should put the transcript on the collaboration of course! I thought I’d already opened it.

      I’m glad you’re going to take part in the competition 😉

  3. Shampa Thakur

    Reading is good “Passive” way of improving vocabulary, but when you are resorting to making lists, that is “Active” method. Problem with active method of learning words is that it is cumbersome and boring, and you doing retain and unless you use it in writing sentences to apply the word, very little chance is that you increase your lexical size.
    Improve Your Vocabulary – VocabMonk is an active learning tool which is personalized and makes sure you grasp the learnt words by applying it. It is lot of fun too as you can play vocab challenges with your friends.
    Give it a shot!

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  6. Avinesh Singh

    Thanks a lot, this is really really useful. You are very kind too share and spend time for posting such good work..

  7. Martin

    It is very useful vocabulary. Especially for the start of conversation everywhere you are… not only in UK…
    Thanks a lot.