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AS Torm Is Coming

Sherlock Holmes: There's an east wind coming, Watson.
Dr. Watson: I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.
Sherlock Holmes: Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.

Something about the weather lends itself well to Ominous Foreshadowing. Whenever trouble looms in the near future, any suitably perceptive character can play narrative weatherman and give a plot forecast — which, unlike a normal weather forecast, is 100-percent guaranteed to be true. If a storm isn't on its way, then perhaps a cold wind is about to blow, or winter is coming... all that matters is that the characters and audience are well-informed that The Plot is on its way.

Weather Dissonance may reinforce that.

Often contains Dramatic Thunder far off in the distance, or directly overhead. Can lead into Battle in the Rain, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, or Lightning Reveal, or any combination.

Invoked metaphorically for all kinds of trouble.

Contrast Gray Rain of Depression, which generally indicates muteness and lack of activity — and generally does not come with thunder or wind. Not to be confused with Grave Clouds.

Related to My Significance Sense Is Tingling and Empathic Environment, except that the ominous portent occurs before any disastrous event. Differs from Spider-Sense in that it isn't a warning of immediate danger. Not quite Tempting Fate, but you'd be forgiven for making that mistake. See also Ominous Fog.

Almost always a Portent of Doom.

Contrast Thunder Equals Downpour, where there is no build-up.

When the ominous signs are less meteorological and even more non-specific, see Vagueness Is Coming.

When the storm is the threat that is coming, see Hostile Weather.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Castle in the Sky, while on the Kiteglider, Pazu points out an approaching storm incredibly casually...
    Pazu: Storm ahead.
    • ...before getting ambushed by Goliath.
    • Played much more dramatically with the hurricane that contains Laputa.
  • Also used in the Fatal Fury movie by Terry Bogard in the first few minutes.
  • In Gosick Kujo's arrival during a period of peace was in the spring. As the year progressed events accelerated until war broke out in the winter. The war then ended with the coming of spring.
    • Many characters often referred to the past and coming wars as storms or winds.
  • Jubei Kibegami starts off Ninja Scroll saying this and running for shelter.
  • The Loguetown arc in One Piece. Luffy is being pursued by three separate malevolent forces and everyone comments on the storm coming. A bit subverted as the storm turns out to be the very thing that helps Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates escape, thus the storm was coming for the people out to hunt the Straw Hats. As stated by Smoker: It is as if heaven itself is helping them
  • In Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, inverted: Ponyo's appearance is taken as a harbinger of a tsunami, and actually brings about a near-apocalyptic storm and flood.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in the anime adaptation of Sengoku Basara, where Big Bad Oda Nobunaga is apparently incapable of going anywhere without being followed by ominous red storm clouds and dramatic German chanting.
  • Played arrow-straight in Seto no Hanayome. As the war between Sun and Lunar heats up, the weather starts getting cloudier and windier, and Saru — decked up in a sage outfit — begins predicting that... take a guess... "A storm is coming." As the singing battle reaches its conclusion and Nagasumi gets his Theme Music Power-Up, Saru — standing on top of the roof in gusting wind — dramatically screams "The storm... HAS ARRIVED!", just as the asskicking begins. To cap it all off, when the battle is over, the wind dies down and the sun breaks through the clouds.
  • Amasawa, the self-proclaimed weather "fairy" from The Weatherman Is My Lover, can sense when a storm is coming. Dramatically this is used when he fails to convince his parents a typhoon is coming and that they shouldn't go on their trip, which results in their deaths.

    Audio Play 
  • In Chapter 40 of We're Alive, Victor and Tanya prepare to make another trip into Ground Zero as the sound of distant thunder and rising winds are heard in the background. Victor notes this by telling Tanya: "Those are some nasty looking clouds, you sure you want to do this?" When they get there, they find Ground Zero is no longer contaminated, and the zombies have entered the area, including a Little One that has them cornered.

    Comics 
  • In the Sin City story "The Big Fat Kill", Dwight comments on an approaching storm in Private Eye Monologue style: "The night's gotten just about as hot as it's going to get. There's a wild crackle in the air. The wind's got a crazy edge to it. There's a storm coming." This foreshadows things going right straight to hell when the girls of Old Town kill an abusive scumbag named Jackie-Boy who turns out to have been a hero cop.
  • In Frank Miller's earlier work Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the turning point in the first volume is heralded by the TV weather man saying that the heatwave was about to be broken by an incoming storm. A few pages later, he comments the storm is "like the wrath of God; it's headed for Gotham..." Sure enough, the storm becomes secondary, for Batman is back.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths: "Why the red skies?"
  • ''Hellblazer: John Constantine said once "I'm kind of a tempest magnet" (not the exact quote, is a translation from the Spanish edition).
  • During Jack Kirby's run on New Gods, someone warns Darkseid about an oncoming storm. Darkseid answers, "I am the storm!"
  • The 10th chapter of Watchmen ends with the lines from All Along The Watchtower previously quoted above - immediately presaging the final confrontation between Ozymandias and the other characters in the concluding 2 chapters.
  • In Wolverine Weapon X by Barry Windsor-Smith, Logan comments about the storm brewing in the first chapter. It had a metaphorical meaning to it as well seeing that it hinted towards his capture and experimentation by the Weapon X program in the next chapter of the series.

    Fan Works 
  • Inverted in A Dark Knight Over Sin City. The weather gradually goes from a snowstorm, to a rainstorm, and eventually clears up on an extremely hot day when it comes time for the climax.
  • In the Firefly/Doctor Who crossover fanfic The Man With No Name, this is the last thing River says in chapter one, almost by trope name. The joke here being that in the new series the Doctor is kind of a bogeyman to lots of baddies, especially the Daleks, and one of the more frequently heard of the names they have for him is The Oncoming Storm. Though the audience, the Doctor, and River herself get what she's saying (more or less), the rest of Serenity's crew had a slightly different take on it.
  • Jewel Of Darkness: Robin makes a comment to this affect at the climax of the Jump City Arc as he realizes that Midnight's plans are reaching a crescendo.
  • Justice League of Equestria: As part of the Foreshadowing for the main crossover fic, the end of The Princess of Themyscira has Athena visiting Hippolyta and Philippus and warning them that despite Diana managing to defeat Ares, his forcing open a portal to Tartarus has weakened the boundaries of reality enough that there's a crack left that the forces of Apokolips will be able to take advantage of to invade Equestria and restart the War in Heaven.
  • In The Wrong Reflection it's ten degrees Celsius and thunderstorming in Bajor's capital Ashalla when Eleya goes there to get the Orb of Possibilities.

    Film 
  • In Batman Begins, Batman greets Sergeant Gordon with this line after appearing suddenly on his back porch.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle says this while dancing with Bruce at the Masquerade Ball:
    You think all this can last? There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.
  • The first lines of Betty Blue: "I had known Betty for a week. We made love every night. The forecast called for storm."
  • One of the central recurring symbols in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the gradual approach of Hurricane Katrina towards New Orleans in the Daisy and Caroline storyline, as the characters discuss whether or not the storm will make landfall in Louisiana (spoiler alert: it does). Also briefly invoked in Benjamin's storyline by the old man who gets struck by lightning, after his speech about why he's grateful to be alive.
  • Dune (1984): "A storm is coming. ...Our storm!"
    • Both literal and metaphorical; the metaphorical storm is the (eventual) collapse of the existing political-social balance arising from the Fremen conquest of the Known Universe; the more mundane storm is the one that's going to keep air power - of which the Fremen have little - from influencing the battle.
    • Twenty years later, in the books, we have the foreshadowing of Kralizec, the "Typhoon Struggle at the end of the universe". Even without straying into Brian Herbert's extended "canon", it's clear from reading between the lines that the galaxy was not a peaceful or happy place in between the fourth and fifth books. And things only get worse from there. Heretics of Dune ends with the entire surface of Arrakis being slagged down into radioactive glass, while Chapter House Dune hasn't even warmed up before the Bene Gesserit lose their entire training planet, including two thirds of their six-million-strong elite army. At the end (at least of the original sextet), the only thing left for the central characters to do is run away. Far, far away. And hope that whatever their nearly invincible enemy was running away from comes and gets them.
      • And then in the extended canon, they find out who the enemy of their enemy was. And things get EVEN WORSE.
  • Hurricane Alice in Everybodys Fine. When the plane passes the storm, the protagonist collapses and gets a revelation.
  • In The Gift, the dead grandmother of Cate Blanchett's character visits her to tell her this.
  • Hagrid says "There's a storm coming" in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and this scene is directly followed by the Death Eaters breaking out of Azkaban.
  • Kung Fu Hustle: When the Axe Gang enter the Pig Sty Alley, they bring their own dark clouds with them, blotting out the sun.
  • Gandalf utters a variation of this line in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when he and Pippin stand on the ramparts of Minas Tirith, watching dark clouds coming towards them in the distance. They are invoked by Sauron to make the march easier for his daylight-hating troops.
  • Mary Poppins uses this at the beginning to indicate trouble in the Banks family, and at the end to indicate that all is well, now.
  • The narrator of Moonrise Kingdom tells us to the minute when the storm is going to come.
  • Said in Night at the Museum... to a key-stealing monkey.
  • Gathering storm clouds are a recurring visual motif in Akira Kurosawa's Ran. A figurative storm of death ensues during the film's climax.
  • Completely botched in the MST3K-worthy film Red Zone Cuba, when ominous thunder during our "heroes"' plane ride with Cherokee Jack fails to match the local weather conditions...
    Servo: Man, it sounds pretty bad... wait a minute, it's beautiful out there!
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Those Two Guys get into a long argument about trying to determine the direction of the wind, based on something Hamlet said. Later on, the Player carelessly remarks "I know which way the wind is blowing."
  • Used in the ending of Serenity:
    River: Storm's coming.
    Mal: We'll pass through it soon enough.
  • This is how A Serious Man ends, with a tornado approaching, a notable sign of impending doom in a film where the protagonist can't catch a break.
  • Subverted in Sherlock Holmes (2009). The storm is coming line is AFTER the finale, and everything being resolved... Unless it was about Moriarty!
  • At the beginning of Shutter Island, the captain of the boat bringing the Marshals to the island says this.
  • As in the Literature example below, the made-for-TV film of The Stand has this, in the words of Mother Abagail - "There's a storm comin'. His storm."
  • The title of Soviet propaganda film Storm Over Asia (1928) alludes to this. In the last scene, as the Mongolian hero leads his army against the Evil Colonialist British occupiers, a literal dust storm arises, gusting in the face of the British as they move out to meet the Mongols.
  • The film Take Shelter is this trope combined with Crazy-Prepared, Crazy Survivalist, Mind Screw, and Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory applied to earth changes and social changes.
  • The Terminator ends with a Mexican child announcing that a storm is coming. Sarah Connor rasps, "I know."
  • X-Men:
  • Used metaphorically, The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" enjoys a signature song status in some of Martin Scorsese's movies. An ominous fall from grace foreshadowing or From Bad to Worse in both Goodfellas and Casino and an introductory Thematic Theme Tune in The Departed.
  • Used on the M.U.T.O. Research Viral Marketing website for Godzilla (2014) if you type in "STORM" or something similar, in a bit of promotional Foreshadowing for Godzilla's Giant Wall of Watery Doom and the M.U.T.O.s' EMP:
    PLEASE BE ADVISED: SEVERE WEATHER ALERT ISSUED FOR THE NORTHEASTERN PACIFIC SEABOARD, WITH POSSIBLE ELECTROMAGNETIC DISRUPTION. NO FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.

    Literature 
  • Used rather prominently in Neil Gaiman's American Gods; to the point of being Arc Words.
  • Every The Wheel of Time book opens with a description of a wind rising, which is "not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning."
    • A separate instance in A Crown of Swords lampshades this:
      And for some reason, men and women who told the tales often found a need to add almost identical words. The storm is coming, they said, staring southward in worry. The storm is coming.
    • Further, when the weather-sensing Nynaeve warns that she senses an explicitly metaphorical storm coming, the other Aes Sedai laugh at her. Then they get enslaved.
    • For bonus points, the first volume of the final book is titled The Gathering Storm. Which is aptly named, as the storm finally comes in a literal sense: a cover of black-and-silver stormclouds that eventually cover, apparently, the whole world.
    • To put the above quote from A Crown of Swords in context: Over the course of two chapters Nynaeve repeatedly claims a storm is coming, "and it's not this wind." Eventually Mat finds himself repeating the warning but doesn't know why. A few minutes later he witnesses the Seanchan launch a massive attack on Ebou Dar, and realizes this is the beginning of their attempt to recolonize the continent. Then a building falls on him (he gets better). End that plotline for the remainder of the book. The above quote is the end of the last chapter. Ebou Dar lies to the south.
    • There are more:
      When the winds of Tarmon Gai'don scour the earth, he will face the Shadow and bring forth Light again in the world.
    • And this:
      With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death.
  • A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. The same phrase used for the title would be used a few times to foreshadow the danger within the story.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has the motto of House Stark: "Winter is coming." It is also played straight in the title of third book, A Storm of Swords, where the predicted storm actually does arrive.
    • And literally at the end of A Dance With Dragons, heightening the already dark hour the entire country finds itself in, when a white raven appears at King's Landing, signifying that the long winter Westeros has been dreading and is utterly unprepared for has, at last, come
  • In the novel The Dark Is Rising, a character comments to Will the night before he comes into his power: "This night will be bad. And tomorrow will be beyond imagining."
  • The Dresden Files uses it in Dead Beat:
    The vendor snorted and tapped his nose. "I lived around this old lake all my life. There's a storm coming."
    • Boy was there. In spades.
    • Played with in Small Favor: A massive, early snowstorm is shutting down Chicago as the book starts. It turns out the storm is courtesy of Queen Mab, who sent it out to protect Harry from the emissaries of Summer. But it also means trouble for the heroes, especially when they end up soaking wet and have to walk around in it.
    • The first book, titled Storm Front deals with the bad guy using storms to amp up his magic. And at the climax, Harry's race to beat the storm to the Big Bad's place before he can do a ritual intended to kill Harry. And on a meta-example, it is the first book in a series of over 15 books, with the series of events steadily getting worse and more dangerous, as the storm's intensity increases.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf came bearing news of Saruman's plans to the Rohirrim. Wormtongue mocks him by calling him a "stormcrow". Also used in The Return of the King, where Sauron sends out storm clouds to shield his army from the sun.
  • Stephen King's Needful Things starts it right off with the prologue: "There's a storm on the way."
  • Played with in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Jingo: as Commander Vimes and Sergeant Detritus watch an unruly crowd winding itself up to the idea of war with Klatch, Sergeant Detritus notes that it feels like an old troll word, whose meaning he explains thus: "It mean lit'rally der time when you see dem little pebbles and you jus' know dere's gonna be a great big landslide on toppa you and it already too late to run." Then he tells the commander that he knows which way the wind is blowing. "You can spot it, can you?" Whereupon Detritus explains that all you have to is look at the weathercocks on top of buildings: "Dey know. Beats me how dey always pointin' der right way." This disappoints Vimes for a moment, until Detritus adds that "it look to him like dat time when you go an' find a big club and listen to grandad tellin' you how he beat up all dem dwarfs when he was a boy. Somethin' in the wind, right?"
    • Later in the same book, a Klatchian immigrant prepares to return to his homeland because he can tell which way the wind is blowing. Carrot (not as apparently thick as Detritus, but every bit as literal) says it's blowing from Klatch, to which Goriff replies, "Maybe for you."
    • And in Night Watch, where in the opening of the first act, several characters note an approaching storm. And when Vimes heads onto the roof of the UU library to take down a particularly nasty pyschopath, the storm rages overhead. At first it merely seems to be for dramatic effect, until the weather spazzes out and sends Vimes and Carcer 30 years into the past. Well... They were on the roof of the library -- of the Unseen University.
      • It should be noted that this storm is caused by Jeremy Clockson building his glass clock in the previous book (Thief of Time and Night Watch take place at the same "time", until Vimes gets, well...).
  • The first chapter in the novel Insurrection (by David Weber and Steve White) is titled "Gale Warning", after the code-phrase used by some characters to warn of an impending political offensive by another faction within the government.
  • Lee Child's novel Echo Burning has several characters mention to the protagonist that a big storm is coming. It finally does during the big fight at the end.
  • It's not spoken by a character, but the first line of Eragon reads: "Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world."
  • "It was a dark and stormy night..."
  • Watership Down contains quite a few chapter titles describing the coming storm in the build-up to the escape from Efrafa. It's also mentioned, repeatedly, that rabbits don't like thunder, and it creates tension in them.
  • Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes opens with a lightning rod salesman warning of the coming storm.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, Garro thinks of the unknown problems as a storm — on a spaceship.
    He forced away the chill impression of storm clouds and building threat, the sense of vast and silent machinications thundering unseen above him.
  • The Stand: "There's a storm comin'! His storm!"
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Black Colossus" part of a much longer Vagueness Is Coming.
    ''"Whence came Natohk?" rose the Shemite's vibrant whisper. "Out of the desert on a night when the world was blind and wild with mad clouds driven in frenzied flight across the shuddering stars, and the howling of the wind was mingled with the shrieking of the spirits of the wastes."
  • In the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, a storm begins to brew as the situation on the island becomes more dire.
  • From The Stormlight Archive "The Everstorm comes, the True Desolation, the Night of Sorrows." a warming given to Dalinar by The Almighty, this world has massive storms across the entire landmass every few days, it's noted by some of the characters that they are getting worse.
  • The final battles of David Eddings' troperiffic-by-design Belgariad pentalogy and its sequel series The Malloreon each occur in the middle of raging thunderstorms. Deadpan Snarker Silk, who was present for both, notices the clouds gathering at the end of Malloreon and wonders aloud why these epic confrontations can't happen on nice days.
  • Happens a few times in Warrior Cats with rain:
    • In the prologue of Dark River, cats feel that rain is coming. Fallen Leaves then goes to the tunnels to take his test, and lies to the guardian of the tunnels that there are no signs of rain. Turns out there is an underground river there, that floods the tunnels during rain.
    • In Bluestar's Prophecy, Featherwhisker forecasts rain for a few days, and it starts raining just before the battle with WindClan.
  • In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, January gets his crew to abandon the alien treasure trove by pointing out that a storm is coming, because of the static on the comms.
  • Parodied in Dave Barry Slept Here:
    For meanwhile, back east, the cold front of moral outrage was moving inexorably toward the low-pressure system of southern economic interests, creating another of those frontal systems of conflict that would inevitably result in a violent afternoon or evening thundershower of carnage. Also, it was time for the Civil War.

    Live Action TV 
  • Sci-Fi Channel's miniseries Tin Man.
  • Heroes: Bob Bishop says this to Mohinder Suresh in season 2. Oddly enough, the "storm" doesn't become important until Adam Monroe tries to release the modified Shanti virus. He succeeds in the deleted ending.
  • Supernatural: Usually included in the Previously On opening credits. "Storm's a-coming. And you boys, your daddy — you are smack in the middle of it."
    • The line itself is from the episode Devil's Trap, the first season finale.
  • Dexter
    • In the episode "Return to Sender": Dexter watches his police officer co-workers close in on him as the murderer of a woman found dead in a motorhome, and anticipates them finding out that he, is fact, a prolific serial killer. He imagines his father inviting him into a doorway with a "Better get inside, son. Storm's on its way." He looks behind him to see a mass of clouds rolling towards him, and puts his hand out to feel the rain. His hand is covered in blood.
    • The series finale coincides with a tropical storm gathering over Miami and the concern about it starts in the penultimate episode. The storm itself becomes a major plot point in the series resolution.
  • In Sci-Fi Channel's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, at the end of season 3 (Crossroads, Part 1), the character Helo mutters, "A storm is coming." A somewhat subverted use, though, since there's no actual weather as they're in space, though he did preceed this comment by talking about how you could always tell the weather was going to change back on Caprica.
    • Season 3 DVDs are decorated with a thunderstorm imagery.
    • Athena has her own somewhat modified version of this in the second season finale: "Something dark is coming."
      • From a meta-perspective, this makes sense: At the end of the episode, we see what the "darkness" is. But from a series perspective, that particular event does not happen till one year later, making it a possible subversion.
  • Parodied in Spaced, where Mike quotes the "storm's coming" line from The Terminator. The "storm" in question turns out to be all three of Tim's greatest fears — lighting, dogs and bamboo.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Ambassador Kosh has a suitably ominous comment on the subject of Narn/Centauri relations during the second season:
    Emperor Turhan: How will this end?
    Kosh: In fire.
    • In the episode "The Geometry of Shadows", when Elric the Technomage is speaking to Captain Sheridan in the Zocalo (complete with eerie music):
      Elric: There is a storm coming, a black and terrible storm.
    • Yet another Koshism:
      Kosh: The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • Near the end of the The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Dungeons And Dragons", Sarah's old fiance Charley, steps onto the Connor's porch after saving Derek Reese's life, has a conversation with Sarah, then notes, "Looks like a storm's coming."
  • The West Wing had a storm coming in "The Two Cathedrals." The President was complaining about a hurricane coming up the East Coast so early in the season. He seemed to think God was picking on him, leading to his Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • Doctor Who; In "Fear Her", the Doctor and Rose randomly stopped to point at a coming storm at the end, in clear foreshadowing to the events of next episodes "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday"; but later it was noted that the storm they were foreshadowing had technically occurred several years previously thanks to the Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • And of course, in the ancient legends of the Daleks, the Doctor is literally referred to as "The Oncoming Storm".
  • In the LOST finale, a storm is gathering just as Jack prepares to face the Man in Black. Richard, who doesn't even know the confrontation is imminent, comments, "It's gonna be a hell of a storm."
    • The Man in Black himself at one point looks up and says, "It's gonna be a bad one". It certainly was for him!
  • The Stand (1994 miniseries): "A storm is coming. ...His storm!" She also tells them that "The rats are in the corn."
  • On All My Children, a tornado struck Pine Valley as numerous storylines came to a climax.
  • Abed points this out during his arrival at the party in Community episode "Introduction to Statistics".
  • In the Dollhouse episode "Belonging", Echo uses this metaphor to warn of an impending disaster (that the world will spiral into the chaos seen in the "Epitaph" episodes.) Boyd overhears her, and later gives her an all-access keycard with a note reading, "For the storm."
    Echo: Something bad is coming. Like a storm. And I want everyone to survive it.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus used "The Gathering Storm" as a title for several skits - including one purported to be a documentary on the use of penguins in medical trials.
  • The opening of the first season finale of How I Met Your Mother foreshadows the massive rainstorm that occurs when Robin and Ted get together while Marshall and Lily break up with both the narrator and a tv weatherman invoking this trope (in the past and future-tenses respectively).
  • Throughout Game of Thrones, the phrase is repeated (usually by the Starks; fitting, as it's actually the "words"[motto] of the Stark house): "Winter is coming".
  • The Arc Words for season 7 of Charmed are "the gathering storm."
  • In the Person of Interest episode "Proteus," Reese (speaking literally) says that the storm is passing, and Finch (speaking metaphorically) says that it's just beginning.
  • The season two finale of Boardwalk Empire occurs during a Heat Wave, with the unspoken implication that a storm is coming. Sure enough, it ends with a Battle in the Rain.
  • The "East wind" metaphor from Sherlock Holmes (see page quote) appears naturally in Sherlock in the episode "His Last Vow". Before Sherlock is exiled for killing Magnussen, he tells John the East Wind was something Mycroft used to say to him as a child; a force that would pluck the unworthy off the face of the Earth. When Moriarty's apparent resurrection results in Sherlock being recalled back to England minutes after his plane is in the air, John tells Mary, "If he is still alive, I hope he's wrapped up warm. There's an east wind coming."
  • The Blacklist: At the end of "The Judge", Reddington tells Cooper that "A war is coming" (presumably between himself and his mystery adversaries), and that when the time comes, he's going to need the FBI's help to fight it.

    Music 
  • Bob Dylan's anthemic "Blowin' in the Wind", as well as "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" off the same album.
    • and "It don't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" from "Subterranean Homesick Blues".
    • "All Along the Watchtower" is an ominous song in itself, but it really kicks in at "And the wind began to howl", especially in the Jimi Hendrix and Battlestar Galactica versions, and in its use in Watchmen.
    • Another example is "The Times They Are a-Changin'" from the album of the same title.
  • "Storm Coming" by Gnarls Barkley is this trope in a 3-minute song.
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival had three; "Bad Moon Rising", "Have You Ever Seen the Rain", and "Who'll Stop the Rain?"
  • Tom Waits' song "Earth Died Screaming" has a fair amount of this, as well.
  • Inverted in Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sun Is Burning", which is about an absolutely beautiful day, and just how that day stops being beautiful.
  • Rush's "Force Ten" plays around with this. Its title even came from the Beaufort Scale according to Neil Peart.
  • Blind Guardian songs often use this trope, e.g. in "Into the Storm," "Mirror Mirror," and "And Then There Was Silence".
  • "Degausser" by Brand New. Right before the big loud chorus of pure anguish and despair!!!
  • "Winter of Souls" by Demons & Wizards starts with the narrator saying he's "facing the storm".
  • "Red Rain" by Peter Gabriel.
  • "Storm to Pass" by Atreyu.
  • "Look Out Cleveland" by The Band.
  • "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones.
  • Phil Collins tries to summon this in the song 'I Wish It Would Rain Down'.
  • Billy Joel had the title track of the 'Storm Front' album. (And the first time I'd heard of the Beaufort scale mentioned earlier!)
  • Jethro Tull's album "Stormwatch" is this trope turned up to eleven. It was written back when car exhaust & aerosol cans were going to trigger a new ice age...
  • Leslie Fish's "Teacher, Teacher", from her album Firestorm: Songs of the Third World War, ends with the lines,
    Teacher guarding the dwindling flame,
    How many of your kids have beaten the game?
    The wind is rising and the night's falling fast —
    Will you run save yourself, or fight to the last?
  • "When The Levee Breaks" by Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy, most famously covered by Led Zeppelin
  • Evoked in the first stanza of "A las Barricadas", the anarchist anthem of the Spanish Civil War.
  • An image used by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the sinister figure at the center of the song Red Right Hand.
    On a gathering storm comes a tall handsome man in a dusty black coat with a Red Right Hand.
  • "Stormy Sky" by The Kinks:
    Oh, oh darlin', little darlin',
    Did you ever see such a stormy sky?
    It's never been like this before ...
    ... Perhaps it's a sign of what we're headed for.
  • "The Good Left Undone" by Rise Against has the line "I felt the cold rain of the coming storm" twice.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In West End Games' TORG, Earth is invaded by a coalition of armies from various cosms with the capability to bring their own differing natural laws (read: genre conventions) into the territory they occupied. The borders between two reality zones were marked by "reality storms", leading to one of the game's slogans: "The Storm Has a Name."

    Theater 
  • Another William Shakespeare variation; in Henry V, Exeter warns the French dauphin of the coming war:
    Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,
    In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,
    That, if requiring fail, he will compel.
  • Older Than Steam: William Shakespeare's Macbeth both plays this straight and subverts it. Act I features Macbeth commenting, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen," mirroring the comments of three witches making sinister plans. King Duncan later subverts this, cheerfully commenting on the pleasant weather the day he's scheduled to be murdered.
  • In Wicked, when deciding how to deal with Elphaba, Mrs. Morrible announces, "It's time for a change in the weather." She then summons the twister that drops a house on Nessarosa and brings Dorothy to Oz.

    Video Games 
  • Damas in Jak III's intro movie: "I smell a storm coming"
  • The first time the party meets Janus in Chrono Trigger, he tells them that the black wind is howling... and interprets it to mean that one of them will die soon. He turns out to be Magus as a child, and as an adult, he recognizes the black wind as a premonition.
    • He interprets it correctly, Crono does die, but you can use time travel to make his death un-happen.
    • The "black wind" he hears is the sound you hear while time traveling.
  • Cairne Bloodhoof of Warcraft III has this as one of his possible responses when you select him as a unit in gameplay.
    • As if he needed something to make him more ominous than simply being named "Cairne Bloodhoof".
    • Well, there IS a storm coming. A big one. Others, namely the old Guardian who got better equate the event the player puts forth at the end of the second campaign to a storm.
  • In City of Villains, the time-traveling authority of Ouroboros seems to exist to avert "The Coming Storm". Nobody is willing to tell you what this storm actually is.
  • In Devil May Cry 3, Arkham states the Trope word for word as he walks off to deal with Lady at the beginning of Chapter 4.
  • Used nearly word for word in Frontlines: Fuel of War. "We always knew. It's 2024, The storm is coming."
  • Journey has this in the second-to-last chapter, when you're struggling to climb the summit. Because the story is told wordlessly, the name of the trope is never stated.
  • Eternal Darkness: "A storm approaches, Pious. A storm of metal and fire." Used to presage the chapter set during the First Gulf War.
  • Averted with a Lampshade Hanging in Skies of Arcadia - As the party and their allies leave for the final battle with Galcian's fleet, Gilder notes, "The skies are clear, and the wind is behind us. Considering we're about to enter a battle over the fate of the world, the weather is pretty good."
  • URU Live has Yeesha: "A storm is coming. He is coming. And I will come as well. Destruction is coming. Find a way. Make a home."
    • This is a follow-on from her line in Uru Prime, "Once again, the stream in the Cleft has begun to flow. It was dry for so long. Water is flowing in from the desert. A storm is coming."
  • Used in inFAMOUS 2, specifically for the second to the last level.
  • In Mass Effect 1, if you ask Wrex why he wants to join you, he says: "There's a storm coming, and you and Saren are right in the middle of it." He isn't saying this out of trepidation, but out of excitement.
  • Justified in the first episode of Tales of Monkey Island.
  • Final Fantasy VI has an ominous storm, complete with Dramatic Thunder, panning into the title screen. In other words, the whole game is bad news.
  • Justified in the Halo: Reach trailer, since the lightning shown at the end comes from a Covenant plasma flare.
    • While the trailer has the circumstances "compressed" a bit for exposition's sake, the full game reflects this during the later levels, where the weather is increasingly stormy. Again justified, as the Covenant's plasma bombardment heats the atmosphere, causing rolling pressure waves and thunderstorms to break out. Some of the ice caps are even melted, causing rising floods and other climatic disturbances as more water is forced into the atmosphere.
    • There's a level in Halo 3 called "The Storm". A massive vortex of clouds is present on the horizon, the eye centered on a massive Forerunner artifact that lay under Mount Kilimanjaro. The goal of the mission is to punch a hole in Covenant Anti-Air defenses, allowing a strike on the thing before it activates. You fail. The level marks the beginning of the climactic last battles of the Human-Covenant War. Fittingly, the level after features a flood. And not the kind with water.
  • The Walking Dead chapter 2 . As you prepare for dinner. Storms coming. Dear lord the oncoming storm.
  • "The Gathering Storm" is the final original campaign of X-Wing . It graduately scalates towards a showdown on the Death Star.

    Web Comics 

    Visual Novel 
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni averts the Ominous Foreshadowing; to the characters the coming typhoon is an occasional inconvenience on their family island. It doesn't become significant until after more ominous revelations, and they're unable to escape or communicate with the mainland.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers: Beast Wars actually has an episode called "Before the Storm".
    Megatron: There is a storm approaching. A storm of such power, such magnitude... it is beyond imagination.
  • The South Park episode "Marjorine" — "Storm's a-brewin', Stotch."
  • The season 2 finale of Star Wars: Clone Wars:
    Yoda: Mmm. Darker, the coming storm grows. I fear the dark cloud of the Sith shrouds us all.
  • The animated TV show Clone High has an episode that continuously references an oncoming storm to highlight mounting tensions between two main characters. Joan of Arc's foster grandfather Toots Lamp Shades this by saying "Storm's a-brewin. Metaphorically, too."
  • Happens in the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Storm". In this case, it's an unusual variant, where the metaphorical storm is a war that has already been going on for about 100 years. The literal storm in the episode isn't particularly important to the larger plot, but it brings up memories of Aang's past before the war started when the Air Nomads rushed his revelation as the Avatar because of the Fire Nation's escalating aggression (they could see the symbolic storm-clouds gathering). As a result, the young Aang was overwhelmed by the responsibility and ran away (getting caught in yet another literal storm) and ended up frozen for the next century. Of all the storms in this episode, only the one where Aang ended up frozen fits the traditional use of the trope.
  • What kicks off the plot of The Smurfs episode "Never Smurf Off Till Tomorrow".
  • In the Gargoyles episode "Pendragon", a supernatural storm presages the arrival of King Arthur in Manhattan.
    Hudson: This is no ordinary storm. I know this wind. Something is coming.

    Real Life 


Supernatural AidIndex of Gothic Horror TropesStrapped to an Operating Table
Shut Up, Hannibal!Harbinger of AsskickingTheme Music Power-Up
Redemption in the RainPrecipitation IndexThunder Equals Downpour
Someday This Will Come in HandyThis Index Will Be Important LaterVagueness Is Coming
Spontaneous Human CombustionOlder Than SteamStumbling Upon the Lost Wizard
Snow Means LoveWeather and EnvironmentEndless Daytime
Red Sky, Take WarningPortent of DoomThe Stars Are Going Out
Stop Saying That!Stock PhrasesThe Strength of Ten Men
Starving ArtistImageSource/ArtStreet Urchin

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