WEATHER is an important element in any setting, providing sensory texture and contributing to the mood the writer wishes to create in a scene. With a deft touch, weather can enhance the character's emotional response to a specific location, it can add conflict, and it can also (lightly) foreshadow coming events.
However, caution must accompany this entry: the weather should not be used as a window into a character's soul. The weather can add invisible pressure for the character, it can layer the SCENE with symbolism, it can carefully hint at the internal landscape, but it must never OVERTLY TELL emotion. Such a heavy-handed approach results in weather cliches and melodrama (a storm raging above a bloody battle, a broken-hearted girl crying in the rain).
Aside: Dear God, as a sacrifice, I humbly and somewhat desperately offer up this hurricane entry that I have written from my south Florida home--a home that I would very much like to remain intact. Please let this entry take the place of any named monstrosities that may come barreling toward the coast this hurricane season. Amen.
Sight: Rain blowing sideways, decreased to zero visibility, huge ocean waves, trees breaking in half, blown-down trees blocking the roads, debris flying through the air and rolling along the ground, flooding low areas, overflowing pools/ditches/ponds/lakes, houses with the windows boarded or covered with hurricane shutters, downed power poles and lines, widespread power outages
Smell: water, ozone
Touch: the house shivering and trembling as winds buffet it, rain pelting and pouring through holes in the roof or broken windows, steadily warming air as the power and a/c go off
Sound: rain pinging against the windows, howling/moaning/shrieking winds, debris crashing into the shutters, fluctuating noise volume as heavier bands of rain and wind pass by
Mood: There's nothing quite like being enclosed in a boarded-up house that's being pummeled by 100mph winds. This situation quickly becomes claustrophobic, especially in the heat of summer when the power goes out. Hurricanes create an atmosphere of fear and worry as people sit in the dark and wonder how bad it's going to get. The mood becomes very tense and oppressive very quickly.
Symbolism: power, destruction, God, fate
Possible Cliches: Can't think of any!
OTHER: Hurricanes and typhoons are storms that form over tropical water and have sustained winds of over 74 mph. Hurricanes form in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and eastern Pacific Oceans. Storms that form in the western Pacific across the International Date Line are called typhoons. Storms are categorized 1-5, with 5 being the most severe. The strength of a storm's winds can cause massive destruction, as can the excessive rain from a milder, slower-moving storm. While lightning and thunder don't accompany most hurricanes and typhoons, they do often appear alongside the stronger category 4 and 5 storms.
Don't be afraid to use the weather to add contrast. Unusual pairings, especially when drawing attention to the Character's emotions, is a powerful trigger for tension. Consider how the bleak mood of a character is even more noticeable as morning sunlight dances across the crystals of fresh snow on the walk to work. Or how the feeling of betrayal is so much more poignant on a hot summer day. Likewise, success or joy can be hampered by a cutting wind or drizzling sleet, foreshadowing conflict to come.