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Weather

  • The only two good words that can be said for a hurricane are that it gives sufficient warning of its approach, and that it blows from one point of the compass at a time.

  • It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.

  • It is impossible, to me at least, to be poetical in cold weather.

    • George Eliot,
    • letter (1840), in J.W. Cross, ed., George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals ()
  • Dolly used to get almost tipsy upon sunshine. The weather is as much part of some people's lives as the minor events which happen to them.

  • Weather creates character.

  • Cold is a tooth of silver / that bites like crimson flame, / a savage tooth of silver / that only June can tame.

  • On the farm the weather was the great fact, and men's affairs went on underneath it, as the streams creep under the ice.

  • What dreadful hot weather we have! — It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance.

    • Jane Austen,
    • letter to her sister Cassandra (1796), in R.W. Chapman, ed., Jane Austen's Letters ()
  • Snow's a searchin' thing. Snow be's like sorrow. It searches people out.

  • Out of the sun, the cold bit like ivory fangs.

  • The typhoon came out of the sea first as a deep hollow roar. ... I was surrounded by the madness, the unreason, of uncontrolled, undisciplined energy. None of this made any sense. It was worse than useless — it was nature destroying its own creation — its own self. To create by the long process of growth and then to destroy by a fit of wild emotion — was this not madness, was this not unreason?

  • How we are all more or less creatures of Sun, Shadow, and Imagination, impressed or depressed by weather!

  • Let everyone who makes garden plans frequently insert the letters C.P. in them as a reminder, the same standing for climate permitting.

  • The Lightning is a yellow Fork / From Tables in the sky / By inadvertent fingers dropt / The awful Cutlery ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1870, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • [On the English climate:] People get a bad impression of it by continually trying to treat it as if it was a bank clerk, who ought to be on time on Tuesday next, instead of philosophically seeing it as a painter, who may do anything so long as you don't try to predict what.

  • ... I hope & pray that we are escaping from my great enemy the heat. I never appreciated before what a cruel giant the heat is.

    • Lady Monkswell,
    • in E.F.C. Collier, ed., A Victorian Diarist: Extracts From the Journals of Mary, Lady Monkswell 1875-1895 ()
  • A green Christmas makes a fat graveyard.

  • To-day it has blown knives and files; a cold, rasping, savage day ...

    • Jane Welsh Carlyle,
    • journal (1855), in James Anthony Froude, ed., Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle, vol. 2 ()
  • If the fog comes on little cat feet, then hail comes on wild pony hooves ...

  • Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily / like a dog looking for a place to sleep in, / listen to it growling.

  • The short, half-tone scale of winter weathers / is a spread pigeon's wing. / Winter lives under a pigeon's wing, a dead wing with damp feathers.

  • Americans resent the vagaries of weather to a degree unknown to other peoples. ... Weather is a force we have lost touch with. We feel entitled to dominate it, like everything else in the environment, and when we can't are more panic-stricken than primitives who know that when nature is out of control they can only pray to the gods.

  • ... the wind waited for them at the corner, striking suddenly like an assassin.

  • [The] whirlwind fife-and-drum of the storm bends the salt marsh grass, disturbs stars in the sky and the star on the steeple; it is a privilege to see so much confusion.

  • Is the sea drying up? It is going up into mist and coming down on us in this water spout, the rain. It raineth every day, and the weather represents our tearful despair on a large scale.

  • ... old Mother Nature, with strident muttering, had set about her annual house cleaning. With her efficient broom, the March wind, she was sweeping every nook and cranny clean. With her scrub-bucket overflowing with April showers, she was washing the face of all creation, and if these measures failed to produce cleanliness to her satisfaction, she gave a final polish with storms of hail.

  • It is so bitterly cold that the wine as well as water freezes in the glasses at the King's table.

  • Among famous traitors of history one might mention the weather.

  • Choose a hill country for storms. There all the business of the weather is carried on above your horizon and loses its terror in familiarity. When you come to think about it, the disastrous storms are on the levels, sea or sand or plains. There you get only a hint of what is about to happen, the fume of the gods rising from their meeting place under the rim of the world; and when it breaks upon you there is no stay nor shelter. The terrible mewings and mouthings of a Kansas wind have the added terror of viewlessness. You are lapped in them like uprooted grass; suspect them of a personal grudge. But the storms of hill countries have other business.

  • In the evenings there's been thunder, a distant bumping and stumbling, like God on a sullen binge.

  • ... weather is the indisputable ruler of the forest and every living thing in it ...

  • ... I like weather better than climate. The dry season is a gold vacuum; but the rainy season has change, which is weather. And while climate may create a race, weather creates the temper and sensibility of the individual.

  • It is hard for people who have not lived in Los Angeles to realize how radically the Santa Ana figures in the local imagination. ... The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.

    • Joan Didion,
    • "Los Angeles Notebook," Slouching Towards Bethlehem ()
  • Cold — cold as truth, cold as life. No, nothing can be as cold as life.

  • And the storm went on. It roared, it bellowed, and it screeched: it thumped and it kerwhalloped. The great seas would come bunt agin the rocks, as if they were bound to go right though to Jersey City, which they used to say was the end of the world.

  • A stiff wind gusting across the desert grabbed my car door like an overeager valet ...

  • Snow sets us dreaming on vast plains, trackless, colorless / Keep vigil my heart, the snow sets us on saddled racers of white foam ...

  • In the country, weather is as important as food and sometimes means the difference between life and death.

  • Sutures of lightning tightened the edges of the sky.

  • Winds are birds; snow is a feather; / Wild white swans are wind and weather.

  • We prayed to see the racing clouds at bay / Rumpled like sheets after a night of joy, / To stand quite still and let the deluged day / Of rain's releasing, surge up and destroy.

  • ... the breeze brought us a faint sound, as of a distant rat, a huge and mystic rat, gnawing, maybe, at the horizon!

  • People don't feel so quarrelsome in warm weather. They get crotchety in the fall and begin to go to law about things after the first hard frosts.

  • I had never before seen heat, as you can see smoke or rain. But there it was, jigging and quavering above brown grasses and spiky thorn-trees and flaring erythrinas.

  • Fog rested on the hills and caught on the tall bolls of the sequoias and the fronds of the date palms. Like a soaked goose-down comforter, it sagged onto the beach, creating a charcoal-gray unity of air, wet sand, and Pacific whitecaps.

    • Susan Dunlap,
    • "No Safety," in Marilyn Wallace, ed., Sisters in Crime ()
  • No wonder, he thought, that panhandle people were a godly lot, for they lived in a sudden, violent atmosphere. Weather kept them humble.

  • ... the thunder seemed to lift itself off the ground, and the lightning came in sheets, instead of in great forks that flew like flights of spears among the forest trees.

  • He [a leopard] had moved off in one of those weird lulls which you get in a tornado, when for a few seconds the wild herd of hurrying winds seem to have lost themselves, and wander round crying and wailing like lost souls, until their common rage seizes them again and they rush back to their work of destruction.

  • The heat was like a hand on the face all day and night.

  • ... the English, although partakers in the most variable and quixotic climate in the world, never become used to its vagaries, but comment upon them with shock and resentment as if all their lives had been spent in the predictable monsoon.

  • Whoa ... Chicago is hella cold. I gotta break off all of my friendships with people who don't live in my bedroom or kitchen. I'm a house-person now.

  • There was nowhere to escape the heat. It was there every day when we awoke, persistent and unbroken, and hanging in the air like an unfinished argument. It leaked people's days onto pavements and patios and, no longer able to contain ourselves within brick and cement, we melted into the outside, bringing our lives along with us. Meals, conversations, arguments were all woken and untethered and allowed outdoors.

  • I awoke today and found the front perched on the town / It hovered in a frozen sky, and then it gobbled summer down.