103 English Weather Idioms That You Can Use Rain Or Shine

103 English Weather Idioms That You Can Use Rain Or Shine

So, how is the weather? Do you know any good English weather idioms?

Talking about the weather is a good example of “small talk”. Weather-related phrases are also important to know because, well, weather can affect your plans. You don’t want to wear a sweater on a hot summer day or forget your umbrella when there’s a chance of rain.

Aside from knowing how to ask and answer weather-related questions, it’s also important to learn common English weather idioms.

Idioms are phrases that have a different, hidden meaning that might be different from what they initially seem to be saying. Native English speakers will use idioms in their daily speech and understand what they mean right away, but if you are just learning English you could end up confused.

One way to avoid this possible confusion is to learn and memorize some English weather idioms and their meanings. Check out the following weather-related idioms below, there are some really interesting and fun ones that you are bound to hear from your English speaking friends.    

20 English Weather Idioms You Can Use In Any Situation

The following English weather idioms are great examples of how the English language contains phrases that have a deeper, different meaning from their literal translation. Check them out and memorize what they mean because you’re sure to hear them in conversation.

1. Come rain or shine

Meaning: Whatever the situation

2. Chase rainbows

Meaning: Go after an impossible or impractical dream

3. Dry spell 

Meaning: A period of bad luck or being unsuccessful

4. Under the weather

Meaning: Ill or in low spirits

5. I don’t have the foggiest

Meaning: I don’t have a clue

6. Break the ice

Meaning: Start a conversation

7. Fair-weather friend

Meaning: Fickle, can’t be counted on when things are bad

8. Steal someone’s thunder

Meaning: Take the credit, take the attention away from someone

9. A breath of fresh air

Meaning: Something or someone new 

10. Bolt from the blue

Meaning: Something unexpected, a good idea out of nowhere

11. Brainstorm

Meaning: Getting together to talk about ideas or make a plan

12. In a fog

Meaning: Dazed and confused

13. Once in a blue moon

Meaning: A rare occurrence

14. Catch lightning in a bottle

Meaning: To succeed unexpectedly, to manage a feat that is not easily repeated 

15. Bone dry

Meaning: Without moisture

16. Come hell or high water

Meaning: No matter what, determination

17. Lighting never strikes twice

Meaning: A bad event is not likely to occur again

18. Face like thunder

Meaning: Looking like they are extremely angry or upset

19. Lightning fast

Meaning: Very fast

20. Tip of the iceberg

Meaning: Only a small part of the problem, not seeing the whole picture

15 English Weather Idioms for Sunny Weather

Here comes the sun! And here are some of the most common English weather idioms that are used to talk about the joy of sunny days.

1. Brighten up

Meaning: Cheer up

2. Take a shine to

Meaning: Starting to like, be attracted to

3. Ray of hope

Meaning: To see a chance or an opportunity that might improve your situation

4. Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine

Meaning: Bad things happen to everyone

5. Place in the sun

Meaning: Being comfortable in your life, feeling at home or like you belong

6. Moment in the sun

Meaning: Someone has done something amazing, someone is being recognized

7. Time to shine

Meaning: An opportunity to show off, a chance to be recognized

8. Nothing new under the sun

Meaning: Unimpressed, not a new idea

9. Tried everything under the sun

Meaning: Did everything possible

10. Thinks the sun rises and sets around someone

Meaning: Thinking that someone is very special or important, admiring them very much

11. Catch some rays

Meaning: Sunbath, go out and enjoy a sunny day

12. Dog days of summer

Meaning: Very warm weather, the hottest day of summer

13. A hot one

Meaning: Hot weather is expected

14. Scorcher

Meaning: A very hot day

15. Heat wave

Meaning: Experiencing several consecutive days of hot weather

12 English Weather Idioms That Are Related to Rain

Rain and rainy days may not be everyone’s favorite times, but these English idioms referring to rain are bound to become some of your favorites. There are just so many creative rain related idioms in English!

1. Raining cats and dogs

Meaning: Heavy rain

2. Raining buckets

Meaning: Heavy rain

3. Save for a rainy day

Meaning: Put something aside for the future or in case of emergency

5. Right as rain

Meaning: Fit, feeling okay

6. Rain check

Meaning: Put off for now

7. Into each life some rain must fall

Meaning: Everyone experiences bad luck sometimes

8. It never rains but it pours

Meaning: Bad luck or bad events happened one after another

9. Rain on your parade

Meaning: Spoil someone’s plans or good mood

10. Heavens open

Meaning: When it unexpectedly rains, rains hard

11. Rained in

Meaning: Had to change plans because of bad weather

12. Come in out of the rain

Meaning: Rejoin a group after an argument or disagreement, see the situation as it is

13 English Idioms That Refer to the Wind

Idioms about the wind can cover a variety of situations. The idioms that we list below all reference windy weather, but they often talk about much more than just the wind.

1. Know which way the wind blows

Meaning: Recognize that things can change in an instance and being ready to cope with possible changes

2. Throw caution to the winds

Meaning: Take a risk, be daring

3. Windfall

Meaning: An unexpected sum of money

4. Shoot the breeze

Meaning: Talk casually

5. Get wind of something

Meaning: Heard a rumor

6. Something in the wind

Meaning: Rumors are circulating

7. Sail close to the wind

Meaning: Cutting it close, unacceptable or risky behavior

8. It will be a breeze

Meaning: It will be easy

9. Run like the wind

Meaning: Run very fast or move quickly

10. Scattered to the four winds

Meaning: A previously close group has now gone their separate words

11. Blow hot and cold

Meaning: A moody or indecisive person

12. Spit in the wind

Meaning: Realize the futility of your actions, doing something unwise that will backfire on you

13. Three sheets to the wind

Meaning: Drunk

13 English Idioms That Refer to Clouds, Storms, and Bad Weather

The following English idioms talk about cloudy or stormy weather. While clouds or storms usually mean that bad weather is on the horizon, not all idioms about bad weather actually talk about a bad situation. 

Learn the meanings of these idioms in order to understand that, talking about bad weather isn’t always a bad thing.

1. Not a cloud in the sky

Meaning: Good weather, you are in a good mood, no problems

2. Every cloud has a silver lining

Meaning: You may be in a bad situation but there is hope

3. Cloud nine

Meaning: A state of euphoria or great happiness

4. Have your head in the clouds

Meaning: Full of unrealistic ideas, daydreamer

5. Calm before the storm

Meaning: Time of peace before troubles occur or before an event that you know will be difficult

6. A storm is brewing

Meaning: When you can see that a situation is going to go bad

7. Storm on the horizon

Meaning: Problems approaching

8. Cook up a storm

Meaning: Creating something big, cooking a lot or a big meal

9. Storm off

Meaning: Leave in a hurry because they were angry

10. Storm out

Meaning:  Leave in a hurry because they were angry

11. Weather the storm

Meaning: Get through a difficult period, endure a difficult task

12. A perfect storm

Meaning: Several small, unlikely things have happened that have brought about a bad situation

13. Stormy relationship

Meaning: Complicated or volatile relationship

19 English Cold Weather Idioms 

The following English idioms either make reference to winter or cold weather or use cold weather imagery to express an emotion or describe a situation.

1. Old Man Winter

Meaning: Winter season

2. Dead of winter

Meaning: Very cold, the coldest and darkest time of the year

3. Cold as ice

Meaning: Unfriendly, acting like you are unwelcome

4. Give them the cold shoulder

Meaning: To ignore or snub

5. Snowed under

Meaning: Overwhelmed with work or by the circumstances

6. Put on ice

Meaning: Postpone

7. Keep on ice

Meaning: Postpone

8. Leave them out in the cold

Meaning: Refuse to include

9. Snowed in

Meaning: Unable to go outside because of cold or snowy weather

10. Snow job

Meaning: An elaborate lie, someone who is putting a lot of effort in covering up the truth

11. On thin ice

Meaning: In a dangerous situation, making someone lose patience or close to losing their temper

12. Snowball

Meaning: Gotten out of control, a small problem that is growing larger

13. Cold day in hell

Meaning: Not going to happen

14. A snowball’s chance in hell

Meaning: No chance

15. It’s nippy

Meaning: It’s cold

16. It’s chilly

Meaning: It’s cold

17. It’s frosty

Meaning: It’s cold

18. It’s freezing

Meaning: It’s cold

19. Winter is coming

Meaning: Be ready, be prepared for a difficult situation

12 Obscure English Idioms About the Weather

The following English idioms that reference the weather are no longer commonly used. You are more likely to hear them from older generations of English speakers or else read them in an English language book or other reading material.

1. Make hay when the sun shines

Meaning: Make the most of an opportunity

2. Wait for a raindrop in the drought

Meaning: Hoping for something that has little chance of happening

3. Storm in a teacup

Meaning: Blowing a small problem out of proportion

4. A tempest in a teapot

Meaning: Blowing a small problem out of proportion

5. Keep a weather eye 

Meaning: Keep a close watch on someone or the situation, to be wary

6. Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Meaning: Something that is out of reach or impossible

7. Snow on the roof

Meaning: Someone who has white hair, someone who has dandruff

8. Any port in a storm

Meaning: Taking help where you can get it, don’t be picky

9. Pure as driven snow

Meaning: Innocent or wholesome, unaware

10. A cold day in July

Meaning: Something is never going to happen

11. Blood and thunder

Meaning: Spectacular or dramatic

12.  Raining pitchforks

Meaning: Raining hard


To gain fluency in English, it is important to learn English idioms. Native English speakers will use English weather idioms and more in casual daily conversations so, if you want to keep up, you need to memorize and learn common English idioms.

We also suggest that you take this list of English weather idioms and go through them with a native English speaking online tutor. They can give you a better explanation of what they mean and also coach you on the proper times and places to drop these idioms into the conversation. 

Don’t forget to ask your tutor and any English speaking friends about their favorite English weather idioms! That’s actually a fun and interesting ice breaker!

If you’re interested in expanding your English vocabulary even further, consider these excellent online learning resources: Kick off your journey with Babbel, offering user-friendly, engaging lessons tailored to fit seamlessly into your daily schedule. If you want something more in-depth, there's a great English course on Coursera that covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics. For a more personalized learning experience, connect with native English tutors on Preply, enhancing your speaking and comprehension skills. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first Preply session by using this link.

Why are English weather idioms important for conversations?

English weather idioms make conversations more interesting by adding colorful expressions related to weather.

What's the meaning of "making hay when the sun shines" as an English idiom?

It means taking advantage of opportunities when they come.

What does it mean if someone has "snow on the roof" in English idioms?

It means they have white hair, usually because they're getting older. It's a playful way to talk about someone's age using a weather-related phrase.

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