CHICAGO, IL: Mostly cloudy skies this morning will become partly cloudy this afternoon. A few isolated showers (= sudden rain) later in the day. High 73 F. It’s going to be a blustery ( = windy) day, with winds at 40 to 45 mph. Chance of rain 40%.    

SAN DIEGO, CA: A mainly sunny sky. Mild (= not high, not low)temperatures, 70-72F.  High UV index.

ANCHORAGE, AK: Cloudy with driving rain and snow in the morning. Sub-zero temperatures. Chance of precipitation (= rain, snow, hail) 70%. Severe (= very bad)weather conditions in the evening, heavy snowfall, gale-force (= very strong) wind and  hard frost at night. About two inches of snow expected.

SEATTLE, WA: Worsening weather conditions for Seattle. Right now it’s cloudy and windy, but expect patches of fog(= areas of fog different from what is around) and torrential (= heavy and fast) rain in the evening, with showers continuing late. Low 53F. Winds at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Rainfall possibly over 1 inch.

LAS VEGAS, NV: Clear skies, sunny. Scorching (= really very hot) hot with temperatures around 105F. Very high UV index. Expect a week of unbroken sunshine.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Dense (= thick) fog in the morning may give way to outbreaks (= the sudden strat) of rain and thunderstorms this afternoon. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high temperature near 57F.



Complete the sentences with the words in the text:


  1. The policemen turned their backs to the wind and _______________ rain as they checked the driver’s papers.
  2. The area was beautiful but unfortunately the __________________ weather conditions as we cycled destroyed any possibility of seeing those stunning views. 
  3. The two cars collided in ______________________ fog on the M61 near Bolton, Greater Manchester.
  4. It was August, and the previous day had been a __________________  hot one.
  5. Good football was impossible in the _______________ wind across the pitch.
  6. A sudden, unexpected _________________________ in the spring can kill many plants in one’s garden. 
  7. The climber must have been killed in an avalanche or died in a b______________ because he never returned from his trip.
  8. It was a lovely summer day with a gentle ________________ just rustling the leaves on the trees.
  9. There was a violent thunderstorm and the old apple tree was struck by ____________________.
  10. The h____________ storm was so bad that my car which was parked outside got damaged.



Divide the words into 4 categories: 


pouring down      chuck down     howling     biting    gale-force    mild     bitter     stiff breeze     a gust of wind     blustery     bucketing down    spitting    torrential      tropical    fine    shower    downpour    boiling     biting



There are many idioms in English connected with the weather:

  • to raise /provoke a storm of protests = provoke many protests
  • to be in floods of tears = to cry a lot
  • to shower sb with gifts = to give sb many presents
  • to be snowed under = overworked, busy
  • to be under the weather = to feel gloomy
  • to be on cloud nine = to feel fantastic
  • a storm in a teacup = a huge conflict out of a trivial problem




HOUSES SWEPT AWAY BY FLOOD WATERS = completely destroyed

COAL MINE CAVES IN (= collapse and fall )FOLLOWING FLOOD, BUT LIVES LOST (= people killed)

HURRICANE RIPS THROUGH WESTERN MEXICO = move forcefully and rapidly



Match the sentence halves.

  1. An American society was swept                  a) in causing considerable havoc.
  2. The roof of the house has just caved          b) away by earthquakes.
  3. Fierce winds have ripped                              c) through central Texas this week.



The alphabet news: B


A counterclockwise shift in the wind direction in the Northern Hemisphere at a certain location. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is clockwise. This can either happen in the horizontal or the vertical (with height). For example, the wind shifts from the northeast to the north to the northwest. It is the opposite of veering.


A radar echo that is reflected, or scattered, at 180 degrees to the direction of the incident wave. Also the scattering of radiant energy into space before it reaches the earth’s surface.


A relatively rare form of lightning consisting of a luminous ball, often reddish in color, which moves rapidly along solid objects or remains floating in mid-air.

Related term: globe lightning


An instrument that continuously records a barometer’s reading of atmospheric pressure.

Related term: aneroid barometer


An instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. Two examples are the aneroid barometer and the mercurial barometer.


download lesson (pdf)



Ex. 1

  1. heavy / torrential 
  2. severe
  3. dense
  4. scorching
  5. gale-force
  6. shower / hail
  7. blizzard
  8. wind /breeze
  9. lightening
  10. heavy


Ex. 2

Rain Snow Wind Temperature
  • It’s pouring down.= It’s chucking down. = It’s bucketing down.
  • It’s going to chuck it down. = it’s going to rain very heavily very shortly
  • It’s spitting. = raining very lightly
  • torrential rain = pours down in great quantities
  • tropical rain = heavy + short
  • fine rain = light rain
  • a shower = short
  • a downpour = sudden, unexpected & heavy
  • a blizzard
  • powdery snow
  • howling = very strong, makes a loud noise
  • biting = very cold
  • gale-force
  • a gale
  • a stiff breeze = strong breeze
  • blustery = v. windy (day /weather /wind)
  • a gust of wind
  • mild = pleasant; neither too cold nor too hot
  • bitter = extremely cold
  • scorching = extremely hot, often in positive contexts
  • boiling = very hot; often in negative contexts
  • biting = very cold


Ex. 3 

  1. b
  2. a
  3. c