Using Idioms is a great way to sound like a native speaker. I put together a list of common weather idioms that I use or hear in conversation. Start using these in your own English conversations and sound more natural.
This list will not only tell you the idioms and explain their meanings, but you will also see them used in a natural English sentence. This is the best way to learn a new language, to see new phrases used in real sentences with context.
- Steal someone’s thunder
- As fast as lightning
- To be a breeze
- Get wind of something
- Run like the wind
- (Verb) up a storm
- The calm before the storm
- Throw caution to the wind
- A perfect storm
- Storm off/out
- Weather the storm
- Take a rain check
- Come rain or shine
- It’s raining cats and dogs
- Rain on my parade
- As right as rain
- Save up for a rainy day
- When it rains it pours
More Weather Idioms
Steal someone’s thunder
– To steal someone’s Thunder is to draw attention to your own accomplishment while someone else is talking about something they have done. You take the focus off of their action, you STEAL their THUNDER.
- “I was planning to announce my engagement tonight at dinner but my younger brother just got accepted to University. What bad timing, this kind of stole my thunder.”
As fast as lightning
– You can probably guess that this means very fast.
- “Peter ran for three touchdowns last night at the game. That guy is as fast as lightning.”
A popular song from 1974 called “Kung Fu Fighting” by Jamaican vocalist Carl Douglas, uses this expression. Here is the chorus:
Everybody was kung fu fighting
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact, it was a little bit frightening
But they fought with expert timing
To be a breeze
– If something is a breeze it is not difficult at all, it’s easy.
- “If you can already speak French and Spanish then learning Portuguese should be a breeze.”
From the NEWS –
Installing Rooftop Solar Can Be a Breeze. Just Look at Australia. LINK
Get wind of something
– To get information or hear a rumor about something that was not meant to be known by many people. We can also say “Catch wind of something.”
- “We will announce the merger next month, before then I don’t want the press to catch wind of this. Please don’t talk about it with anyone.”
Run like the wind
– You can probably guess the meaning of this idiom, which is, to run very fast.
- “Pro baseball Scouts look for young players who can field, bat, and run like the wind.”
(Verb) up a storm
– To do an action with great energy and enthusiasm
- “We have eight guests coming for dinner tonight so my mom has been cooking up a storm all day.”
Cooking is a common verb used with this idiom. There are several television cooking shows around the world titled Cooking up a Storm. IMDb TV shows list.
- The band played up a storm last night.
- We spent New Year’s eve at a fancy nightclub and danced up a storm until 3 AM.
The calm before the storm
– A peaceful time that happens just before things become difficult.
- “Things seem okay now but don’t let your guard down. This is just the calm before the storm.”
From the NEWS – ‘The calm before the storm’: Experts say gas prices will begin rising again, $5 a gallon is possible LINK
Throw caution to the wind
– To do something without carefully considering the results of your action. To be reckless.
- “Some people think that stunt men just throw caution to the wind when performing dangerous stunts for a movie. There are actually a lot of safety measures in place that you never see.”
A Perfect Storm
– A really bad situation caused by a combination of a smaller incidents
- “Experts say that travel this summer is a perfect storm. Suddenly we all want to travel, but airlines and airports have laid off staff during the pandemic. They can’t handle the sudden increase in travelers.” LINK
– To leave somewhere in an angry way LINK
- “Jackson stormed out of the party and didn’t even say goodbye. He was really angry.”
Weather the storm
– To deal with or endure a difficult situation until it’s over.
- “The boxer weathered the storm in the early rounds until his opponent became tired. He then dominated him in the later rounds.”
Take a rain check
– To politely turn down an offer or invitation while implying that it may be possible in the future.
A: “Do you want to see a movie tonight?”
B: “ I’m busy tonight so I’ll have to take a rain check. Maybe next time.”
This 30-second clip is for a TV show called JAG. You can skip ahead to the 13 second mark to hear an actress use the idiom “take a rain check” in the show.
Rain or shine
– Something will be done irrespective of the weather. It may rain or it may be sunny but it doesn’t matter, what was planned will still happen.
- “My friend John jogs 20 km every morning rain or shine.”
- “I’m having a barbecue at my place this weekend rain or shine. You are all invited.”
It’s raining cats and dogs
– This means heavy rain.
- “When I woke up this morning it was raining cats and dogs. I’m glad I have the day off.”
Rain on my parade
– Prevent someone from having fun and enjoying themselves.
- “Sorry to rain on everyone’s parade today but unfortunately I’ve got some bad news.”
The song “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the 1968 movie Funny Girl.
As right as rain
– Feeling perfectly healthy. This is usually used after recovering from an injury or illness.
- “The doctor said you’ll be out of bed in a few days and right as rain in a week.”
Save up for a rainy day
– The means to save money for a later need or emergency.
- “I put $20 a week into my piggy bank. This is my emergency fund, it’s smart to save up for a rainy day.”
When it rains it pours
– When something bad happens other bad things can happen at the same time. Pouring can mean raining very hard. When it rains a little it rains a lot.
- “I didn’t get the promotion at work, my car broke down, and I need to replace the front door of my house because of termites. When it rains it pours.”
Break the ice
– To say or do something to help start a conversation with a stranger or someone you just met.
- “I like to break the ice with someone I just met. I compliment them on their style or fashion. This is a great way to help people relax around you.”
*We also use the noun icebreaker to describe a phrase or a method to help break the ice.
- “At parties, I will often use card tricks as an icebreaker to get people talking.”
On thin ice
– Used to describe a risky situation that needs to be handled carefully.
- “My girlfriend is mad at me because I went out drinking with my friends last night after she made a nice dinner for us. I’m on thin ice today. I’d better buy her some flowers to make her feel better.”
(As) cold as ice
– Acting in an unfriendly way, not showing emotion.
- “I said hi to Bruce this morning when I came into work but he didn’t reply at all. He didn’t even look at me. He was cold as ice.”
“Cold as Ice” is a 1977 song by British-American rock band Foreigner.
Snowball into something
– To become bigger and more serious. As a snowball collects more snow and grows as it rolls down the hill.
- “It’s best to deal with the problem while it’s still small. If we wait too long it may snowball into something out of control.”
Snowball’s chance in hell
– A very very very small chance of happening.
A: “Do you think the boss will give me Friday off?”
B: “Now? During our busiest week of the year? There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell he’ll give you the day off. Don’t even bother to ask.”
On cloud nine
– Extremely happy
- “Donald finally asked out Tammy. She said yes and he has been on cloud nine all day.”
Have your head in the clouds
– This idiom has a few different uses. They all come from being in a place where you can’t clearly see or understand the things around you because your head is inside of a cloud.
- To be daydreaming not paying attention to see what’s happening around you.
- “I need you to focus on what I’m saying. Come on everyone get your heads out of the clouds.”
- To have goals or dreams that are impractical.
- “Gary has some big ideas, but honestly they seem crazy. I like Gary but I think he has his head in the clouds.”
Every cloud has a silver lining
– Even a challenging or difficult situation has an underlying benefit that we just can’t see right away.
- “When I moved I lost a few private students, but now all of my remaining students are online. I can teach from anywhere in the world, even when I’m on vacation. Every cloud has a silver lining.”
Under the weather
– This expression is used to describe not feeling well.
- “The movie sounds fun but unfortunately I’m feeling a little under the weather today. I’ll have to take a rain check.”
– This describes a friend who is only here for you when times are good. When times are bad they will abandon you.
“After I experienced some trouble I could see who my real friends were. It was a good opportunity to see who cares about me and who is just a fair-weather friend.”
Have your moment in the sun
– A period of time where you are especially successful, popular, or well-known.
“My boss loved my idea, he brought it to the board of directors and they loved it too. It was my moment in the sun at work. Everyone was talking about me.”
Which of these idioms are you going to use first? Tell me in the comments!