Weather Idiom : The most commonly used in English

by | English Vocabulary

Weather Idioms in English

We’re back at it again with another post about idioms. What can we say? You already know that we English speakers love a good idiom or two, or 10! Learning when and how to use a weather idiom can really make you stand out as an experienced and advanced English speaker. 

When it comes to using a weather idiom in English, it’s all about the context. Of course, you should not be using an idiom about warm weather in the winter, and vice versa! Sometimes the weather idioms don’t really even refer to the weather at all and are used as more of an expression for a situation. Make sure you really understand how to use these idioms appropriately, by reading the definition and example sentences below. 


10 Useful Weather Idioms in English

  • To be a breeze
  • The calm before the storm
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Rain or shine
  • Under the weather
  • Take a rain check
  • When it rains, it pours
  • Head in the clouds
  • Steal someone’s thunder
  • Break the ice

1. To be a breeze

breeze- wind- Glish Weather Idiom

We would use this weather idiom to describe something that is very easy, without requiring much effort. This is a very common weather idiom and can be used both in formal and informal settings.

Example: Don’t worry about the exam, I took it last year and it was a breeze! 


2. The calm before the storm 

storm- lightening- thunder- dark clouds- Glish Weather Idiom

This weather idiom is used when describing a moment or period of time that is quiet and relatively calm before a hectic and chaotic period before a hectic and stressful time begins. This idiom is on the formal side but can be used with anyone.

Example: My father gets really quiet when he’s angry. Soon after, he’ll explode. It’s always the calm before the storm


3. Every cloud has a silver lining

sun - sky- clouds- blue skies- Glish Weather Idiom

You can use this weather idiom to comfort someone who has gone through a tough or difficult time. It is used to help people feel better and see the positive side even when things seem negative. There is always something positive to find when everything seems bad.

Example: I know you’re sad that you lost your job but don’t forget that every cloud has a silver lining! Maybe now you will finally have time to follow your passions.


4. Rain or shine

rainy day, sun and sky, rain or shine- Glish Weather Idiom

A very common weather idiom, this one means that an event or plan will carry on whether it is raining or sunny. The weather will not affect the plans. This idiom is common to see on invitations or event messages.

Example: My wedding is scheduled for September 15th, rain or shine. 


5. Under the weather

Girl feeling sick and tired- Glish Weather Idiom

If you are trying to describe how you are feeling, you would use this weather idiom. It means that you are not feeling well or you are feeling sick. This is very common to use, especially when discussing your illness with another person. 

Example: I’ve been feeling under the weather today. I am going to go home and take a nap. 


6. Take a rain check

Rain on window - Girl feeling sick and tired- Glish Weather Idiom

In specific situations where we need to reschedule or make a new plan because a change of events has come up, we would use this weather idiom. It means to make new plans for another time because the original time or date no longer works. This idiom can be used both in formal and informal settings, among colleagues at work and with close friends.

Example: I’m so sorry, my boss asked me to work this weekend. Can we take a rain-check on dinner tonight?  


7. When it rains, it pours

rain pouring thunder lightning storm- Girl feeling sick and tired- Glish Weather Idiom

When a series of bad events happen one after another, this weather idiom is perfect to use. It feels like so many bad things are happening at the same time. The word “pour” means to come down very fast. So imagine how this idiom can refer to bad things happening quickly and all at once, like when it starts to rain badly.

Example: My girlfriend broke up with me on the same day that I lost my job. When it rains, it pours!  


8. Head in the clouds

man-thinking-daydreaming-thoughts- Girl feeling sick and tired- Glish Weather Idiom

We’d use head in the clouds to describe a person who is not very focused on what is happening around them. They do not pay much attention to the real world and spend time thinking about fantasies, dreams and ideas in their heads. This is similar to daydreaming. 


Example: I was not a very good student in school because I often had my head in the clouds. My teacher would remind me to focus all the time!


9. Steal someone’s thunder

thunder-city-sky-storm-lightening- Girl feeling sick and tired- Glish Weather Idiom

This one would be used in a negative way, when you do something that someone else was going to do or you take the attention away from someone else. This can happen on purpose or sometimes unintentionally (without you realizing). People often use this weather idiom while talking to another person about the situation. 

Example: My sister stole my thunder by announcing to our family her engagement two days before I was going to announce my pregnancy.  


10. Break the ice

ice-crack-break- Girl feeling sick and tired- Glish Weather Idiom

A weather idiom like this means to make people who have not met before feel more comfortable and relaxed. We can also say “icebreaker”, which has the same meaning in English. We often break the ice and formal settings like work events or parties where you need to introduce yourself to a new group of people. 


Example: I decided to break the ice at our work party by telling everyone a funny story.


It is definitely possible you have heard some of these idioms before, as weather idioms are surprisingly common in our day-to-day exchanges and conversations!  I hope you learned something new and challenge you to try and use one of these idioms in a future English conversation! 


If you need to refresh your weather vocabulary and learn how to generally talk about the weather in every season, then you’ll want to read our blog post all about how to talk about the weather in any season. 


For more idioms, you can download our Glish free ebook with 99 useful idioms that are very common in the English vocabulary. We also post daily idioms, expressions, slang, vocabulary and quotes over on our English learning instagram page (@glishsocial). Follow us there to stay up to date on Glish content! 


If you prefer to learn through listening, you should definitely try listening to The English Journey Podcast (available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Youtube, Google Play, Jiosaavn, Stitcher and more!). We have received great feedback and plan to continue making weekly episodes for you guys! Have fun learning the awesome English language with Glish! 



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About the author

Jasmine is a Canadian living in Toronto, with English being her native language. She’s a certified second-language teacher with the Ontario College and has multiple years of experience teaching students.

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