the night sky
A huge fire at a nearby factory lit up the night sky.
a blue/grey sky
I like to see the sun. Grey skies make me feel depressed.
the sky clears
I think the sky's beginning to clear. I can see a few blue patches among the clouds.
(clouds) drift across the sky
A few white clouds drifted across the sky.
the sky brightens/darkens
The sky suddenly darkened when the sun moved behind some black clouds.
look up at the sky
We looked up at a clear blue sky. There wasn't a cloud in sight!
Note this expression:
The castle stood out against the evening sky.
the sun comes out
After ten minutes the rain stopped, and the sun came out again.
the sun rises/comes up
I love to get up early and watch the sun rises/comes up.
avoid/keep out of the sun
Be careful when you're on holiday. Put on lots of sun cream and avoid the midday sun.
the sun sets/goes down
We sat drinking beer by the sea, watching the sun go down.
dry something in the sun
We dried our wet swimming costumes in the sun.
shield your eyes from the sun
I wear a baseball cap to shield my eyes from the sun.
sit in the sun
I can't sit in the sun for very long. I've got very fair skin.
the sun is in your eyes
I can't see a thing. The sun's in my eyes.
Note these common expressions:
We're having a great time here, soaking up the sun.
During the holidays we fazed around in the sun all day fang.
I've got sunburn on the back of my neck. I must remember to wear a hat next time.
the moon appears/disappears
The moon disappeared behind the clouds and it was difficult to see where we were going.
the moon comes out
When the moon came out from behind the clouds, we were able to see the path clearly.
the moon shines
The moon was shining so brightly; I could read my book without a torch.
a full/half moon
I watched the full moon come up over the horizon. It was enormous!
see by the light of the moon
We could see the lions quite easily by the light of the moon.
a new moon
During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink during the day. Ramadan lasts for about a
month and ends when the new moon appears.
sleep under/beneath the stars
It was so hot that we slept outside, beneath the stars.
the stars shine
It was a clear night with no moon and the stars were shining brightly.
look up at the stars
I lay on my back and looked up at the stars.
a bright star
Capella is one of the brightest stars in the sky.
Note the expression:
It was a clear cold night and the stars were all out. (shining)
If someone is a star, they are famous in the world of entertainment or sport.
pour with rain
When we were in Wales, it poured with rain from the moment wear rived.
get caught in the rain
I got caught in the rain and was soaked from head to toe.
the rain held off
I hope the rain holds off until we get home. I don't have a coat or an umbrella with me.
the rain beat against (the window)
The rain beat against my bedroom window all night and kept me awake.
Heavy rain is falling in Rome this morning and will spread later to the north of the country.
I ran for shelter as soon as the rain started.
The weather forecast says we 'r e in for more heavy rain tomorrow.
I didn't need my umbrella as the rain was very light.
I had to drive very slowly through the torrential rain.
a possibility of rain
According to the forecast, there's a strong possibility of rain this afternoon.
a drop of rain
I'm sure I felt a few drops of rain on my face just now.
a break in the rain
There was hardly a break in the rain all day. It never really stopped once!
a shower of rain
Our barbecue was ruined by a heavy shower of rain.
the sound of rain
We couldn't hear ourselves talking for the sound of rain on the roof of the car.
take shelter from the rain
We took shelter from the rain in a nearby cafe.
get (soaking) wet in the rain
We got soaking wet in the rain on the way home from school.
bring (it) in out of the rain
Shouldn't we bring the washing in out of the rain?
pour with rain
It was a miserable day. It poured with rain all afternoon.
Note these expressions:
It looks like rain to me. (I think it's going to rain.)
I hope the rain lets up for the weekend. (finally stops)
This rain looks as if it has set in for the rest of the day. (started and will continue)
The rain is expected to last all weekend. (will continue)
Notice these ways of saying the rain was very heavy:
It was pouring with rain. or It was pouring.
t was bucketing with rain. or It was bucketing.
Thunder and lightning
a flash/bolt of lightning
During the storm, lightning flashed across the sky.
a clap of thunder
There was a sudden flash of lightning, followed by a loud clap of thunder.
be struck by lightning
Tom was struck by lightning while playing golf.
be struck by lightning
Can lightning ever strike twice in the same place?
You can also say a thunderclap as well as a clap of thunder.
Notice from the exercise that lightning flashes across the sky.
clouds float across the sky
It was a fine day when we got there. Only a few clouds were floating across the sky.
clouds cover (the sun, sky)
Dark clouds suddenly covered the sun and I had to put a jumper on.
(a plane) breaks through the clouds
A few minutes after take-off our plane broke through the clouds into bright sunlight.
Later in the day, the clouds lifted and the mountains suddenly came into view.
Black storm clouds were gathering on the horizon, so we left the beach and went back to our hotel before the rain started.
It was a beautiful summer's day with just a few, fluffy white clouds in the sky.
Visibility at the airport was poor because of the low cloud and heavy rain.
We couldn't see the top of Mount Everest. It was covered in thick cloud.
Note these noun + preposition + cloud expressions:
The whole country was covered in a blanket of cloud.
There were a few breaks in the cloud later in the day, so we got some sunshine.
The snow has been falling steadily all day. It's now about 10 centimeters deep.
clear snow (from a path)
It took me over an hour to clear the snow from my front door to the street.
I don't think the snow will lie on the streets for very long. It's already starting to melt.
Snow had drifted against the garage door overnight and I couldn't push it open.
We had to struggle through deep snow to get here. It was knee-deep in places.
The melting snow has caused severe flooding in the area.
Many villages have been cut off by heavy snow. All main roads are closed.
a fall of snow
The day was cold, with frequent falls of snow which only lasted a few minutes.
a flake of snow (snowflake)
A few flakes of snow fell, but it never really started to snow properly.
a blanket of snow
Fresh snow fell during the night. The ground was covered in a thick blanket of snow when we got up.
The sun came out and melted the ice on the pavements.
skate on ice
Do you think the ice on the pond is now thick enough to skate on?
skid on ice
My friend's car skidded on some black ice and hit a tree.
be covered with ice
The lake is usually covered with thick ice for most of January and February.
slip on ice
My mother broke her arm when she slipped on some ice and fell.
As soon as I stood on the thin ice, it started to crack. I got off it very quickly!
Ice had formed on the windscreen of my car overnight. I had to scrape it off before I could drive to work.
The wind changes
The wind suddenly changed direction and started to blow from the north.
the wind drops/dies down
I think we should wait till the wind drops/dies down before we try to put up the tent.
the wind whistles (through trees)
You could hear the wind whistling through the small gaps in the windows.
the wind rises/gets up
We didn't reach the top of the mountain. We decided to turn back when the wind started to rise/get up.
shelter from /out of the wind
I'm getting cold. Let's shelter from the wind in that shop doorway over there.
sail into the wind
The captain said that the ferry would be thirty minutes late because it was sailing into a very strong wind.
a light wind
The flags on top of the castle fluttered gently in the light wind.
Last night's high winds caused serious damage to our roof.
The wind was so strong it almost blew me off my feet.
The icy wind cut right through me. I was absolutely freezing when I got home.
Note these noun + preposition + wind expressions:
It was absolutely still. There wasn't a breath of wind.
A strong gust of wind blew my hat off my head.
The fog is beginning to lift/clear, so our plane should be able to take off soon.
be/get lost in thick fog
We were hopelessly lost in thick fog. We stopped at a petrol station to ask where we were. They must have thought we were mad!
fog rolls in
It was lovely and sunny when we arrived at the beach, but when the fog rolled in from the sea, we had to go home. It got so cold very quickly!
The sky cleared and the sun came out.
It's a good idea to avoid the hot midday sun.
It was easy to see where we were going because of the full moon.
There was no moon and the stars were shining brightly.
I got soaking wet in the heavy rain.
During the storm lightning flashed across the sky.
The low cloud lifted and we were able to see the top of the mountain.
There was a heavy fall of snow overnight.
Ice forms on the lake in winter.
It was difficult to walk in the high winds.
I needed my sunglasses to drive because the sun was in my eyes.
The snow is very deep in places. Over 40cm fell last night.
A strong wind was blowing when we arrived in Sydney.
We should see the new moon tonight.
I got caught in the rain without an umbrella as I left work.
The plane landed safely after it was struck by lightning.
I looked out of my window at a clear, blue sky.
The ice on the lake is very thin, so don't walk on it.
You couldn’t see two meters in front of you in the thick fog.
It's a bit cloudy tonight, so you won't be able to see so many stars.
We slept on the beach under the stars.
The moon disappeared behind a cloud.
We took shelter from the rain under a large tree.
We got lost in thick fog on our way down the mountain.