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20 of the Best Words and Phrases to Describe the Sky

20 of the Best Words and Phrases to Describe the Sky

Look up at the sky, what words would you use to describe it? (And don’t you dare say blue). There are many ways to convey the sky’s appearance to others once you can find the right words to describe the sky.

But what are the right words? Where will these words to describe the sky come from?

Don’t worry yourself young ​​whippersnapper. That’s what you’ll learn today.

Here are 20 of the best words to describe the sky:


5 words to describe the sky when it’s good weather

A vast blue sky is one of the easiest ways to describe good weather, but there are other adjectives you can use to paint an even better picture.
Here are 5 words to describe the sky when it’s good weather:

Generally, good weather is denoted by a lack of clouds in the sky to block the sunshine or bring rain.
This is a good word to use when there is not a cloud in sight, and all you can see is clear sky.
E.g. “It’s a wonderful day to be at the beach. The cloudless sky means nothing’s going to ruin our day!”


portrait of woman sitting on sand at beach against sky wearing brown dress hat shades
Photo by Adam Kontor under Pexels License


A fair sky is one that is not very cloudy and provides just enough shade to make the day cool, and shelter you from the direct rays of the sun.
There may be some drizzling here and there, but not enough to consider it a rainy day.
E.g. “Oh, look how fair the sky is today. We should go for a picnic.”


As you already know, the sky isn’t always blue. At other times of the day, especially sunrise or sunset, you might see some blues, yellows, pinks, oranges or reds.
If you find yourself looking up at a multi-colored sky, this is a great way to describe it instead of listing out all the colors you see.
E.g. “The painted skies make the perfect backdrop for an afternoon selfie.”


two men taking selfie

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on unsplash


A radiant sky is one where there aren’t many clouds to block the light, so the day itself is bright and lively. You can use this term to describe “golden hour” when the sun is just rising or before it sets where the sky has a bright, orange glow.
E.g. “The radiant afternoon sky reminds me of summers on the porch eating ice cream with my cousins after a day at the lake.”


Sunny is the best word to describe a bright day, especially at midday when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. A sunny day is not necessarily a hot day, you can get some very cold winter days that are sunny.
E.g. “The bright, sunny sky is exactly what we needed after days of pouring rain.”


people summer happiness hair girl sunny summertime happy girl

Photo by Sveta Malinovskaya on Reshot


5 words to describe it when the weather is rainy

When it’s raining, what do you notice about the sky? What is its color? How does it make you feel? What is the atmosphere like?
Once you consider these things, you can move on to these 5 words to describe the sky to understand how they match up with your experience:

Darkening is one of the best words to describe the sky when the weather is rainy because one of the tell-tale signs that it is about to rain is when the sky and clouds get darker. It is good to use this before it actually starts to rain.
E.g. “I need to get home soon. The darkening sky tells me it’s going to be a wet night.”


woman in sleeveless top on a grass field cloud

Photo by Sergei Solo on unsplash


A dreadful sky is one that is dark and depressing. It’s the type of sky that can change your good mood into a bad mood upon walking outside of a building.
It is good to use when the sky makes you want to go back to bed.
E.g. “I’m going to have to cancel our lunch date today. The sky looks absolutely dreadful.”



Grey is a good word to use if you wish to describe the sky based on its color because everyone knows a grey sky means it could be about to rain.
E.g. “I wanted to go to the game today but I’m guessing by the grey look of the sky it’s going to be postponed.”


grayscale photo of beach with ship on the sea gray skies
Photo by Kei Scampa under pexels license


The term Ominous is used to describe the weather in terms of it being cold or wet. When associated with the sky it means it is about to rain.
It is good to use when the signs of rain are there, such as a drop in temperature, a darkening sky or a change in the air.
E.g. “No, I’m staying in today. Have you seen the ominous sky?”


Threatening is a good word to use for when the sky is much darker than usual. While the rain hasn’t started yet, by the looks of things, there may or may not be copious amounts of rainfall.
E.g. “I’m heading home. The skies are threatening some heavy rain.”


body of water and sky gray clouds

Photo by Josh Sorenson under pexels license


5 words to describe the sky when the weather is cloudy.

As the name suggests, cloudy weather means the sky has a lot of clouds. Instead of being plain and boring, here are 5 words to describe the sky that you can use:

Think of your blanket, then think of clouds. Do you notice sometimes the clouds look soft and fluffy, and cover the entire sky, without necessarily being grey?
It is a good word to use to describe a sky with lots of clouds, even though there might be a patch of blue here and there.
E.g. “It’s not a good day for a walk under this blanketed sky. It’s quite hot and humid.”


road near green fields photo

Photo by Chaz McGregor on unsplash


Dull is a good word to use to describe the sky when it is cloudy, yet some of it is grey and other parts are white. It may even all be a shade of light grey, which happens long before it begins to rain.
These clouds also reduce the amount of sunshine, so your surroundings won’t be as bright as on a sunny day.
E.g. “The sky looks quite dull and gloomy. I hope that doesn’t shy away our party guests.”


An overcast sky is one that is cloud-filled and makes your surroundings dark. However, overcast doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily about to rain because not all clouds bring rain.
E.g. “Be sure to bring your jacket. The sky is overcast and outside is a bit chilly.”


concrete bridge near buildings during golden hour

Photo by Guilherme Rossi under pexels license


Use the word unimpressive when the day is in between sunny and cloudy. It means it’s not very bright, neither is it too dull. It’s just whatever, there aren’t any magnificent sunrises/sunsets and the atmosphere is rather blah.
E.g. “You don’t need an umbrella. The sky’s pretty unimpressive and we’ll be done in only a few minutes.”


This is a word you can use to describe an extremely cloudy day that isn’t rainy. Certain big, fluffy clouds sometimes cover the sky so much that there isn’t a speck of blue.
E.g. “The white sky and cool weather make it a perfect day for hitting the town.”



5 words to describe the sky when there are hurricanes/typhoons

When there are hurricanes/typhoons, the sky is like no other time, and if you’ve never seen one, it might seem like the end of the world.
Here’s a couple of words to describe the sky during this type of weather event:

Since hurricanes/typhoons have more violent weather patterns, some people have described it as Mother Nature or God/the gods being angry. The sky is extremely threatening and it is windier than usual.
E.g. “The sky looks too angry and unpleasant for anyone to be outside right now.”


photo of lightning and tornado hitting the village green fields
Photo by Ralph W. lambrecht under pexels license


Under hurricane/typhoon conditions, the sky usually turns into a dark bluish, dark grey color that can sometimes look black. This is a good word to use if the sky is super dark when it is not even night time.
E.g. “Look how black the sky is! The news says it is a Category 3 hurricane.”


18Cats and dogs
“Cats and dogs” is a popular term used to describe rainy weather, of which hurricanes/typhoons are an extreme form of. It is good to use when then there is copious amounts of rain.
E.g. “Oh my God, it’s raining cats and dogs outside.”


children happy playing under the rain

Photo by StockSnap – under CC0 license


Cruel is a good word to use when the sky becomes dark and foreboding as the hurricane/storm approaches. Generally, the sky becomes dark before the rain, and fast winds come.
It is good to use because it is a sign of impending destruction and perhaps devastation, such as flooding, damage to property, loss of livelihoods, or even deaths.
E.g. “My word, this sky looks cruel! We’ll really have to batten down and ride it out.”


Stormy is a simple word you can use to describe hurricane/typhoon conditions. It means the sky and atmosphere have all the characteristics of a storm. These include dark clouds, loud, high-speed winds, heavy rain, and fluctuating temperatures.
E.g. “Oh look at that stormy sky. This is going to be a big one!”



With all these words to describe the sky, your friends, family, and acquaintances will be impressed by your descriptive skills and will gain a better understanding of what you’re trying to communicate. If that fails, just snap a quick pic!