This post will firstly look at the storm which has been named Sandy that hit the east coast of the US yesterday (29/10/12). We’re going to look at some of the language used to describe the storm as well as learning some vocabulary, phrases, and grammar used to describe the weather.
Let’s start with a summary of what has happened adapted from this report:
Millions of people on the east coast of the United States have woken up to devastating scenes after punishing winds and devastating floods left around 7.5 million people without power and caused 15 lives.
President Barak Obama declared a major disaster in the New York area which allowed funds to be given to habitants. The storm has moved inland with weakened yet still strong winds.
It has been said that the storm has been the most destructive in the history of the subway system. It has also closed Wall Street for two days running, the first time since 1888.
According to the American Red Cross, nearly 11,000 people spent the night in 258 shelters across 16 states.
Floods – this is when water overflows and submerges land.
Funds – money saved for a particular purpose.
Shelters – a place that gives protection against danger (in this case bad weather).
The storm first hit the Caribbean, directly hitting Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas, but most damage and deaths occurred in Haiti.
Learning some basic phrases to be used when talking about the weather will help you a lot with your fluency. The grammar used will probably be different to your native language.
We’ve included audio recordings for the following weather related phrases.
- What’s the weather normally like?
- What’s the weather like (today)?
- How’s the weather?
- Is it hot?
- Is it cold?
- Is it dry?
- Is it raining?
Talking About the Weather Today:
- It’s cold today.
- It’s freezing! (this means very cold).
- It’s mild. (To be used during the winter when it isn’t cold).
- It’s warm. (About 16-23 degrees, relative to where you live).
- It’s hot. (About 23 degrees +)
- It’s raining. (More common).
- It’s rainy.
- It’s snowing. (More common).
- It’s snowy.
- It’s sunny.
- It’s dry.
- It’s sleeting (rain and snow).
- It’s foggy/misty.
To emphasize the different types of weather, we can use the following:
- It’s quite hot.
- It’s very hot.
- It’s really hot.
- It’s too hot.
Talking About the Weather Tomorrow:
When talking about the weather in the future, we tend to use either ‘going to’ or ‘will’.
- It’s going to be cold tomorrow.
- It’ll be cold tomorrow.
- I heard that it’s going to be cold tomorrow. (Listen for ‘gonna’).
- It’s going to rain tomorrow. (Listen for ‘gonna’).
‘Going to’ is more common in everyday speech, but you will more likely hear ‘will’ when listening to the weather forecast.
Using Conditionals to Talk About the Weather:
- I love playing golf, but I don’t play when it rains.
- If it rains on Saturday, we’ll stay in.
- If it’s warm this weekend, we’re going to go for a hike.