WeatherTalk: When weather becomes a figure of speech

Why is her temperament described as “stormy?”

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Can there be a harbinger of anything other than spring? Can there be a harbinger of fall, for example? Do approaching storms have harbingers? Certain weather-only words are weather-only because they are technical terms or jargon. I mean, “sleet” is a weather-only word because it is a noun describing a particular weather thing. Same with graupel. This can get one thinking.

What about weather words which are often used to describe other things? Why is her temperament described as “stormy?” How is it that an affair is considered to be “steamy?” What is it about the child’s behavior that is “tempestuous?” Is my memory of these things just “hazy” or is it actually “foggy?” Author Kim Hubbard once wrote, “Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation."

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