Forecast Rain


Come late fall and winter, world-weary weather folk in B.C. have to look for awfully creative ways to deliver the same news: it’s raining. Or it may rain. A lot. Hurrah for those days of crisp sun or a dusting of snow. But, what are some old or little-used words that can be used to deliver rain-relevant news?



Is that rain on the horizon? Probably. This old British word signals that rain-filled clouds are about to burst.

A storm.

A sudden dumping of rain.

Wintry. Related to winter.

Wetting or moistening or being wet or moistened.

To darken or cloud over.

To Misle or Mistle
Rain that you can’t see, but do feel as a light mist.

More light rain.



That beautifully invigorating smell when rain hits land that has been dry, dusty, and warm for awhile.

Pride of the Morning
A rain shower.

See: Little Red. It’s a coat hood worn to fend off the rain.

A glittering of light at cloud’s edge, seen by sailors as a sign of imminent rain storms.

Leg coverings to repel rain or other unwelcome wetness.

It’s raining lightly.

Tipping Down
It’s raining hard.

The ‘head’ of a cumulus cloud, often a sign that a thunderstorm is coming.

A shot of wind.


From The Poets

We can leave the last words on rain to the poets:

…And angry clouds are pouring fast
The vengeance of the skies.

Lord Byron. Excerpt from Stanzas Composed During A Thunder-Storm


A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, were they pearls,
What Necklaces could be! …

Emily Dickinson. Excerpt from Summer Shower


…I meet the storm and its voice of rupture,
its voice from an old book, its hundred-lipped mouth,
and it tells me something, something the wind devours every

Pablo Neruda. Excerpt from The Magellan Heart



And a full poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall.
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.



Header: Aline de Nadai

Photo 2: Nick Scheerbart

Photo 3: NOAA


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