“I dig old books.”
Quotations about Weather
Greetings, all! Welcome to my page of weather quotations. Reading books with great weather descriptions really moves me, and I've found several that especially thrill me in books from the 1800s. As I find time I continue to hit up Google Books and the library too, ransacking vintage gems for wind, rain, snow, and storm-related passages. There is so much beauty out there in previous generations of literature, which fortunately thanks to the preservation of old books is still ours today. I will happily keep sharing the words as I find them, and in the meantime please enjoy the labor of love that is already here.
Snowflakes are kisses from heaven. ~Author Unknown
Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you. Was it something I said? ~"Skipper" Kim Corbin
All was silent as before —
All silent save the dripping rain.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Any proverbs about weather are doubly true during a storm. ~Terri Guillemets
It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain. ~Mark Twain
It was one of those hot, silent nights, when people sit at windows, listening for the thunder which they know will shortly break; when they recall dismal tales of hurricanes and earthquakes; and of lonely travellers on open plains, and lonely ships at sea, struck by lightning. ~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter XLII
The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches. ~e.e. cummings
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. ~Alfred Wainwright
The sky was dark and gloomy, the air was damp and raw, the streets were wet and sloppy. The smoke hung sluggishly above the chimney-tops as if it lacked the courage to rise, and the rain came slowly and doggedly down, as if it had not even the spirit to pour. ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance. ~Jane Austen
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts to-night, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply...
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion
The heavy rain beat down the tender branches of vine and jessamine, and trampled on them in its fury; and when the lightning gleamed, it showed the tearful leaves shivering and cowering together at the window, and tapping at it urgently, as if beseeching to be sheltered from the dismal night. ~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter XLIII
Spooky wild and gusty; swirling dervishes of rattling leaves race by, fleeing the windflung deadwood that cracks and thumps behind. ~Dave Beard
I love snow, snow, and all the forms of radiant frost. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~Rabindranath Tagore
Lo, sifted through the winds that blow,
Down comes the soft and silent snow,
White petals from the flowers that grow
In the cold atmosphere.
~George W. Bungay
Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem. ~William Hamilton Gibson
Where does the white go when the snow melts? ~Hugh Kieffer
Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together. ~Vista M. Kelly
Good night. I have said my prayer with the forest; stood to the dark and the rain; cast my voice on the storm. Though my body shall lie in heavy slumber, my petition has gone on, caught and carried in the surge of the trees, whirled in high vortex over the mountain, drifting in black mists through the fertile night. Acknowledged, answered, in the drip of the rain. ~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
On cable TV they have a weather channel — 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window. ~Dan Spencer
The clouds were flying fast, the wind was coming up in gusts, banging some neighboring shutters that had broken loose, twirling the rusty chimney-cowls and weathercocks, and rushing round and round a confined adjacent churchyard as if it had a mind to blow the dead citizens out of their graves. The low thunder, muttering in all quarters of the sky at once, seemed to threaten vengeance for this attempted desecration, and to mutter, "Let them rest! Let them rest!" ~Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
Hush! Still as death,
The tempest holds his breath
As from a sudden will;
The rain stops short, but from the eaves
You see it drop, and hear it from the leaves,
All is so bodingly still...
~James Russell Lowell, "Summer Storm," 1839
Again, now, now, again
Plashes the rain in heavy gouts,
The crinkled lightning
Seems ever brightening...
And loud and long
Again the thunder shouts
One quivering flash,
One wildering crash,
Followed by silence dead and dull,
As if the cloud, let go,
Leapt bodily below
To whelm the earth in one mad overthrow,
And then a total lull...
~James Russell Lowell, "Summer Storm," 1839
Snowmen fall from heaven... unassembled. ~Author Unknown
When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels. ~Author Unknown
Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough. ~Earl Wilson
...I will praise the English climate till I die—even if I die of the English climate. There is no weather so good as English weather. Nay, in a real sense there is no weather at all anywhere but in England. In France you have much sun and some rain; in Italy you have hot winds and cold winds; in Scotland and Ireland you have rain, either thick or thin; in America you have hells of heat and cold, and in the Tropics you have sunstrokes varied by thunderbolts. But all these you have on a broad and brutal scale, and you settle down into contentment or despair. ~G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The Glory of Grey"
The snow is sparkling like a million little suns. ~Lama Willa Miller
Look up at the miracle of the falling snow,—the air a dizzy maze of whirling, eddying flakes, noiselessly transforming the world, the exquisite crystals dropping in ditch and gutter, and disguising in the same suit of spotless livery all objects upon which they fall. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866
Earth and rain—dust and desire—what mingled odor of these is not sweet? ~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
I used to stare up at the sky trying to see where the snowflakes were born. I could do it for hours. Well, minutes. But it was always the waiting that was the most fun. ~Author unknown, from a package of Starbucks coffee, 2010
The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes, their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears. ~John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf
Through woods and mountain passes
The winds, like anthems, roll.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Still occasionally mistaking brightness for warmth. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
Louder and louder the deep thunder rolled, as through the myriad halls of some vast temple in the sky; fiercer and brighter came the lightning; more and more heavily the rain poured down. The eye, partaking of the quickness of the flashing light, saw in its every gleam a multitude of objects which it could not see at steady noon in fifty times that period.... in a trembling, vivid, flickering instant, everything was clear and plain: then came a flash of red into the yellow light; a change to blue; a brightness so intense that there was nothing else but light; and then the deepest and profoundest darkness. ~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter XLII
Whether the weather be fine,
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the whether,
Whether we like it or not
The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water. ~Douglas Coupland, Life After God, 1994
I yearn for flowers that bend with the wind and rain. ~Tso Ssu
He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers. ~Jonathan Swift
I like people who smile when it’s raining. ~Author Unknown
Every bolt, as it burst with the roar of a cannon, seemed to awaken a series of distinct echoes on every side, and you heard them bandied from crag to crag as they rushed along the wadis; while they swept like a whirlwind among the higher mountains, becoming faint as some mighty peak intervened, and bursting again with undiminished volume through some yawning cleft, till the very ground trembled with the concussion. Such sounds it is impossible ever to forget; it seemed as if the whole mountains of the peninsula were answering one another in a chorus of the deepest bass. Ever and anon a flash of lightning dispelled the pitchy darkness, and lit up the tent as if it had been day; then, after the interval of a few seconds, came the peal of thunder, bursting like a shell to scatter its echoes to the four quarters of the heavens, and overpowering for a moment the loud howlings of the wind. ~Robert Walter Stewart, The Tent and the Khan: A Journey to Sinai and Palestine, "Chapter IV: Feiran to Ghebel Mousa," 30th January 1854
Oh, what is as lovely as flakes of snow
That float through the air as the wind doth blow?!
They settle to earth, these beautiful flakes,
On hilltops and valleys, rivers and lakes...
Out in the country, where the snow stays white,
It glistens in beauty, a lovely sight!
While the city streets are soon quite a mess
Of slush and ice; this we have to confess!
But I, dearly, love each small flake of snow
That brings glad memories; and this I know:
These flakes, so perfect, so pure and so white,
Prove to us God's perfection and His might!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Snow" (1940s)
One can find so many pains when the rain is falling. ~John Steinbeck
The lyric abstrusities of Auden ring mystically down the circular canals of my ear and it begins to look like snow. The good gray conservative obliterating snow. Smoothing (in one white lacy euphemism after another) out all the black bleak angular unangelic nauseous ugliness of the blasted sterile world: dry buds, shrunken stone houses, dead vertical moving people all all all go under the great white beguiling wave. And come out transformed. Lose yourself in a numb dumb snow-daubed lattice of crystal and come out pure with the white virginal veneer you never had. ~Sylvia Plath, journal, 1953
Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery. ~Bill Watterson
[T]he cold warms me—after a different fashion from that of the kitchen stove. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866
October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy draughts that bit at exposed hands and faces. ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "The Lion and the Serpent," 2003
Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather. ~Terri Guillemets
I'm going to imagine that I'm the wind that is blowing up there in those tree-tops. When I get tired of the trees I'll imagine I'm gently waving down here in the ferns — and then I'll fly over to Mrs. Lynde's garden and set the flowers dancing — and then I'll go with one great swoop over the clover field — and then I'll blow over the Lake of Shining Waters and ripple it all up into little sparkling waves. Oh, there's so much scope for imagination in a wind! ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book
Now and then there comes a crash of thunder in a storm, and we look up with amazement when he sets the heavens on a blaze with his lightning. ~C.H. Spurgeon
Only those in tune with nature seem to pick up on the energy in wind. All sorts of things get swept off in the breeze — ghosts, pieces of soul, voices unsung, thoughts repressed, love uncherished, and a thousands galore of spiritual ether. ~Terri Guillemets
When there’s snow on the ground, I like to pretend I’m walking on clouds. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata
Slowly at last the heavy clouds, charged with the welcome water, roll up from seaward; the air grows sultry and still; the creatures of the grove and jungle keep their coverts, as if expectant, like the surface of the soil; there is a hush over all things, as though nature herself were faint; till presently the lightning flashes and the thunder rattles, and down, as if really from heaven and from the hand of God, comes the thick and fresh rain. Then there rises from the ground a cool and penetrating aroma, the scent of the dry soil saturated... ~Daily Telegraph, quoted in A Cyclopædia of Nature Teachings, 1892
The pale and quiet moon
Makes her calm forehead bare,
And the last fragments of the storm,
Like shattered rigging from a fight at sea,
Silent and few, are drifting over me.
~James Russell Lowell, "Summer Storm," 1839
It was an ideal spring day, a light blue sky, flecked with little fleecy white clouds drifting across from west to east. The sun was shining very brightly, and yet there was an exhilarating nip in the air, which set an edge to a man’s energy. ~Arthur Conan Doyle
Do you hear the snow against the windowpanes, Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ’Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’ And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about—whenever the wind blows... ~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There
The sun lay like a friendly arm across her shoulder. ~Margorie Kinnan Rawlings, South Moon Under
[V]ariety of climate should always go with stability of abode.... an Englishman’s house is not only his castle; it is his fairy castle. Clouds and colours of every varied dawn and eve are perpetually touching and turning it from clay to gold, or from gold to ivory. There is a line of woodland beyond a corner of my garden which is literally different on every one of the three hundred and sixty-five days. Sometimes it seems as near as a hedge, and sometimes as far as a faint and fiery evening cloud. ~G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The Glory of Grey"
Bad weather always looks worse through a window. ~Author Unknown
Are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves,
O flakes of snow,
For which, through naked trees, the winds
Or are ye angels, bearing home
The host unseen
Of truant spirits, to be clad
Again in green?
~John B. Tabb, "Phantoms"
In what bold relief stand out the lives of all walkers of the snow! The snow is a great tell-tale, and blabs as effectually as it obliterates. I go into the woods, and know all that has happened. I cross the fields, and if only a mouse has visited his neighbor, the fact is chronicled. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866
Washing your best clothes on Tuesday so they’ll be almost completely dry for the weekend. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ~William Sharp
There are many things I do for amusement, but for happiness I like to gather up my memories and go for a walk in the rain. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The doors of abysmal gloom swing wide. Under the covert of the night the storm breaks loose. The heavily breathing earth, no longer passive, starts, turns with exhilarant response under a torrent of tingling rain.... The swirling song of the storm calls to some dim, long-forgotten instinct, which is suddenly unleashed. I am athirst for the unencumbered impact of the rain.... My shoulders are mantled in running scarves of rain.... Over and through all, the soaking, palpable darkness, penetrating deep, deep, to the heart of the earth. ~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
For months we have had scarcely any rain.... The grass and the trees have seemed to remain at a standstill, as though waiting for something. When I pour waterpot after waterpot of water about the roots of some favourite or needy plant, the water runs off the caked ground... seemingly, without quenching the fever-thirst of the earth.... [T]he beauty of rain is a thing often missed, I think, even by those who do keep, as they pass through this world, a keen eye for the Creator’s thoughts, embodied in beauty about them.... ~John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863
But the true lover of rain.... has a deep inner enjoyment of the rain, as rain, and his sense of its beauty drinks it in as thirstily as does the drinking earth. It refreshes and cools his heart and brain; he longs to go forth into the fields, to feel its steady stream, to scent its fragrance; to stand under some heavy-foliaged chestnut-tree, and hear the rushing music on the crowded leaves. ~John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863
And at last it comes. You hear a patter... you see a leaf here and there bob and blink about you; you feel a spot on your face, on your hand. And then the gracious rain comes, gathering its forces—steady, close, abundant. Lean out of window, and watch, and listen. How delicious!... the verandah beneath losing its scattered spots in a sheet of luminous wet; and, never pausing, the close, heavy, soft-rushing noise... ~John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863
The crisp drenching rustle from the dry foliage of the perceptibly grateful trees... the little plants, in speechless ecstasy, receiving cupful after cupful into the outspread leaves, that silently empty their gracious load, time after time, into the still expecting roots, and open their hands still for more. ~John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863
[Rain] is beautiful when it comes hurried and passionate, fleeing from the storm wind, hurled, like a volley of small musketry, against your streaming panes.... It is beautiful in the Midsummer, when it comes in light, soft showers, or, more in earnest, accompanied with thunder-music, straight and heavy; when, as the poet says—
"Rolling as in sleep,
Low thunders bring the mellow rain."
~John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863 [Vernon is quoting Tennyson here, from "The Talking Oak."
It is beautiful when it rains far away in the distance, the bright sun shining on the mound on which you stand, and only a few guerilla drops heralding the approach of the shower towards you. ~John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863
...I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow...
Joy-edged clouds raining on the live-green earth refreshing its nature glory. ~Terri Guillemets
There was an edge to this darkness.... A cold wind was blowing out of the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things. ~George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones, 1996
Fog is rain that whispers. ~Olivia Dresher
A thunder-storm!—the eloquence of heaven,
When every cloud is from its slumber riven,
Who hath not paused beneath its hollow groan,
And felt Omnipotence around him thrown?
With what a gloom the ush’ring scene appears!
The leaves all shiv’ring with instinctive fears,
The waters curling with a fellow dread,
A veiling fervour round creation spread,
And, last, the heavy rain’s reluctant shower,
With big drops patt’ring on the tree and bower,
While wizard shapes the bowing sky deform,—
All mark the coming of the thunder-storm!
~Robert Montgomery, The Omnipresence of the Deity
Oh! now to be alone, on some grand height,
Where heaven’s black curtains shadow all the sight,
And watch the swollen clouds their bosom clash,
While fleet and far the living lightnings flash...
And see the fiery arrows fall and rise,
In dizzy chase along the rattling skies,—
How stirs the spirit while the echoes roll,
And God, in thunder, rocks from pole to pole!
~Robert Montgomery, The Omnipresence of the Deity
Name the season’s first hurricane Zelda and fool Mother Nature into calling it a year. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
O the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below;
Over the house-tops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet,
Dancing, flirting, skimming along.
~James W. Watson
The weather behaved itself. ¶ In the spring, the little flowers came out obediently in the meads, and the dew sparkled, and the birds sang. In the summer it was beautifully hot for no less than four months, and, if it did rain just enough for agricultural purposes, they managed to arrange it so that it rained while you were in bed. In the autumn the leaves flamed and rattled before the west winds, tempering their sad adieu with glory. And in the winter, which was confined by statute to two months, the snow lay evenly, three feet thick, but never turned into slush. ~T.H. White, The Once and Future King, 1958
Tonight, as I opened my window
And looked at the far away sky,
I breathed in the air, cold and frosty,
And gazed at the stars up so high.
And, then, I was suddenly conscious
That snowflakes were swirling around—
The very first snow of the season!—
Fast falling, without any sound.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The First Snow of the Season" (1940s)
I wish that you could have seen the edge of the snow-cloud which hovered, oh, so soothingly, down to the grand Pilot Peak brows, discharging its heaven-begotten snows with such unmistakable gentleness and moving, perhaps with conscious love from pine to pine as if bestowing separate and independent blessings upon each. In a few hours we climbed under and into this glorious storm-cloud. What a harvest of crystal flowers, and what wind songs were gathered from the spirey firs and the long fringy arms of the Lambert pine. ~John Muir, from letter to Jeanne Carr, written from Yosemite, circa early spring 1871
Then, comes the snow in its beauty,
Each flake a pattern of lace
That floats in the air, so gently;
Then, finds its own, special place.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "God is an Artist of Nature" (1940s)
Lightning streaks like gunfire through the clouds, volleys of thunder shake the air. ~Edward Abbey
There are times when, the elements being in unusual commotion, those who are bent on daring enterprises, or agitated by great thoughts, whether of good or evil, feel a mysterious sympathy with the tumult of nature, and are roused into corresponding violence. In the midst of thunder, lightning, and storm, many tremendous deeds have been committed; men, self-possessed before, have given a sudden loose to passions they could no longer control. The demons of wrath and despair have striven to emulate those who ride the whirlwind and direct the storm; and man, lashed into madness with the roaring winds and boiling waters, has become for the time as wild and merciless as the elements themselves. ~Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge
There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor’s. ~Clyde Moore
The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only. ~Joseph Wood Krutch
The sound of the rain needs no translation. ~Alan Watts
The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. ~Joseph Conrad
He brewed his tea in a blue china pot, poured it into a chipped white cup with forget-me-nots on the handle, and dropped in a dollop of honey and cream. He sat by the window, cup in hand, watching the first snow fall. "I am," he sighed deeply, "contented as a clam. I am a most happy man." ~Ethel Pochocki, Wildflower Tea, 1993
It had been gradually getting overcast, and now the sky was dark and lowering, save where the glory of the departing sun piled up masses of gold and burning fire, decaying embers of which gleamed here and there through the black veil, and shone redly down upon the earth. The wind began to moan in hollow murmurs, as the sun went down, carrying glad day elsewhere; and a train of dull clouds coming up against it, menaced thunder and lightning. Large drops of rain soon began to fall, and, as the storm-clouds came sailing onward, others supplied the void they left behind and spread over all the sky. Then was heard the low rumbling of distant thunder, then the lightning quivered, and then the darkness of an hour seemed to have gathered in an instant. ~Charles Dickens, Old Curiosity Shop
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been...
~Edward Thomas (1878-1917), "Rain," 1916
There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends. ~Arnot Sheppard
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway." ~Maya Angelou
The weathercocks on spires and housetops were mysterious with hints of stormy wind, and pointed, like so many ghostly fingers, out to dangerous seas.... ~Charles Dickens
It was one of those somber evenings when the sighing of the wind resembles the moans of a dying man; a storm was brewing, and between the splashes of rain on the windows there was the silence of death. All nature suffers in such moments; the trees writhe in pain and twist their heads; the birds of the fields cower under the bushes; the streets of cities are deserted. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d’un enfant du siècle, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren
Walking through puddles is my favorite metaphor for life. ~Terri Guillemets
I am sure it is a great mistake always to know enough to go in when it rains. One may keep snug and dry by such knowledge, but one misses a world of loveliness. ~Adeline Knapp
New-England weather — it is a matter about which a great deal is said, but very little done. ~Charles Dudley Warner, 1884, commonly attributed to Mark Twain as "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." (Thanks, Garson O’Toole of quoteinvestigator.com!)