“The Weather” – a hot topic!

A quote once famously attributed to Mark Twain claims “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”. The British in particular seem to have an obsession with this particular topic. Did you know that the Scots have 421 words for snow, more than the Eskimos! Fortunately everyday English doesn’t require such an extensive knowledge of vocabulary. That said, the English language still has a broad range of words to describe the weather. Perhaps not surprising considering how much time is spent discussing it!

Anyone who has a basic grasp of English will already be familiar with words such as sunny, windy, snowy, hot, cold, warm and of course rain. But what about terms such as balmy or blustery? Why not test your knowledge of English meteorological terms in our fun quiz.

Match the 20 weather words with their corresponding meaning and just in case you get stuck we’ll include the answers at the end.

1. blizzard a. a quick and light rainstorm
2. blustery b. unpleasantly warm and humid
3. breezy c. cold
4. mild or balmy d. ice crystals on a frozen surface
5. chilly e. a storm with lots of snow and wind
6. clear f. a very light snowfall
7. cold snap/ spell g. small pieces of hard  ice that fall during a storm
8. drizzle h.  heavy rain
9. dew i. light winds
10. downpour j. complete cloud cover with no sun visible
11. flurry k. extreme wind and snow storm reducing visibility. Sky , air and ground become indistinguishable.
12. frost l. wind blowing in strong gusts (sudden rushes of wind)
13. fog m. a short period of colder than average weather
14. hail n. a cloud near the ground that reduces visibility
15. shower o. warmer weather than would be expected in that season
16. heat wave p. rain containing some ice, melting quickly on contact with the ground
17. muggy q. a very light rain
18. overcast r. hot weather that is much higher than average
19. sleet s. tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night
20. white-out t. a cloudless sky

Answers: 1.e., 2.l., 3.i., 4.o., 5.c., 6.t., 7.m., 8.q., 9.s., 10.h., 11.f., 12.d., 13.n., 14.g., 15.a., 16.r., 17.b., 18.j., 19.p., 20.k

How did you do? Hopefully you’ve have added some new words to your vocabulary. All you need to do now is get out and practice!