According to the urban myth, the eskimos have hundreds of words for snow. But meteorologists, especially British weather forecasters, have just as many words for rain. Take this typical forecast for example:
TODAY: Showers will continue in the north and west, but become more lighter and more isolated as the night progresses. Remaining dry elsewhere with clear spells and light winds.
TOMORROW: Largely dry and bright with sunny spells, the best of the sunshine in the south. A few light showers are likely for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Warm with light winds.
Many people just want to know will it rain today and should I take a brolly? Deciphering the weasel words above can be frustrating, in case you find this confusing, here’s a quick (and incomplete) translation into plain words .
|Weasel Weather Words||Will it rain? Actual meaning in plain english|
|low pressure moving in from the west||yes|
|sunshine with showers||yes|
|becoming brighter later||yes|
|brighter elsewhere||yes (where you are)|
|thundery downpours||yes (lots)|
I hope this clears things up a bit.
- Ernest Gowers (1954) Plain Words: A Guide to the use of English revised and updated by Rebecca Gowers ISBN: 0141975539