Weather descriptions can create problems in novel writing, apparently. Too many, and the reader may lose interest. None, and the reader may find the scene setting lacking.
Then there’s the Pathetic Fallacy. In some cases, the tone of the weather hints at what is to come.
Here’s a description of a storm taken from my second novel, a psychological thriller. In this scene, the main character is driving his eight-year-old son home from school.
We barely talk on the way back. Jazz FM plays on the car radio, my favourite station. Those dissonances calming my mood, calming my mind. The journey, though, is rough, and the steadily darkening sky warn of a prairies-like storm Rain falls down my windscreen, making it difficult to see.
The rain sweeps across the surrounding grass verges in a downpour, splattering on the road ahead. At Rupton village, lightning streaks across the horizon, capturing a frozen shot of The Factory in the valley below: brown, muddy-red brickwork with turret-like windows and a tall chimney to side. Thunder, then more lightning and another glimpse of The Factory with the metal fencing surrounding the car park and the cooling towers and pylon grid further on. Austere. More thunder and lightning. Torrents of rain and gusts of wind. Snapping branches and soaked leaves strewn along pavements. The steep winding road to the bottom of the valley glazed from the rain, tiny streams of waters trickle down the hill to join the river at the other side.
‘Wow,’ Robert says.
He nods, but doesn’t smile.