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 to Ominous Foreshadowing. Whenever trouble looms in the near future, a 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.
Invoked metaphorically for all kinds of trouble.
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.
- Used in this political ad, made by the National Organization for Marriage in response to the Iowa Supreme Court's decision in favor of gay marriage.
- In Castle in the Sky, while on the Kiteglider, Pazu casually points out an approaching storm...
Pazu: Storm ahead.
- 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 My Bride is a Mermaid. 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.
- The Wind Rises:
- The title of the film is from a poem about grasping the opportunities that life presents, but when you know that the film is set in Japan from the 1920s to the 1940s, other interpretations also present themselves.
- During the firestorm after the earthquake, Jiro has a vision of Caproni asking him if the wind is still rising. Jiro replies that is a hurricane.
- In Uzumaki, Shuichi mentions the fact that it's typhoon season and starts to absolutely panic one day at the beach. Given that the problems in this graphic novel series are centered around spirals and that tropical cyclones are basically giant, spiraling masses of thunderstorms, he's right to be concerned.
- 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.
- In The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw Steven and Dusty dread an impending storm that could interfere with Steven's carefully laid plan. The storm, naturally, breaks ass soon as the ship hits the fan.
- 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.
- Invoked by the title of Transformers: Stormbringer, referring to Thunderwing.
- 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.
- Both literally and figuratively in Chapters Thirty-Two and Thirty-Four of A Triangleinthe Stars, almost respectively. The clouds are much closer in the latter, and distant thunder is even heard. And Bill himself begins to feel something he'd never felt in a long while...
- 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.
- Child of the Storm: This is said several times throughout the story, in reference to how the reveal of Harry being Thor's son has upended the balance of power among the powers of both Earth and the universe at large, and everyone is scrambling to take advantage, leading inevitably to an age of conflict.
- Implied (and done literally) on CLINE Storm Warning: The conflict of the story is stopping the biggest hurricane recorded (In-Universe) to date from hitting New York, and the final discovery of the story (that the technology used for the super-hurricane was provided by a renegade Time Lord with unknown intentions) shocks the protagonists.
- Repeated throughout The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity, amid hints of a coming war and Götterdämmerung (though it literally refers to an actual storm which will lead into those events).
- Used by Nivlac in Calvin's Quest (the prequel to The Omniverse Event) to provide foreshadowing for the Event as a whole:
"There's a storm on the horizon, Calvin. A cataclysm the likes of which the Omniverse has never seen. Every world will be in grave danger."
- Chroma's entry onto the scene in When It Rains is accompanied by literal endless thunderstorms, and the imagery of a storm arriving is used frequently at other points in the story.
- In The New Adventures of Invader Zim, Dib says this near the end of Episode 17, which is itself near the end of Season 1's Story Arc, as he realizes that the conflict between his team, Zim, and Tak over the Meekrob crystal (and the Lost Superweapon it leads to) is coming to a climax.
- In Earth's Alien History, Aria says this to Tevos when recruiting her into the Conspiracy of Light, saying that the recently-concluded war with the Space Pirates and the ongoing war with the Mekon and his allies are just the tip of the iceberg concerning the threats facing the galaxy, and that they need to be prepared.
- 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 receives a revelation.
- In The Gift (2000), 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 which is shown rather than just discussed as in the book.
- 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.
- Discussed Trope in the opening titles of silent film The Love Light, which talk about "when great storms rage at sea" and how those storms disturb places far away, and how the coming storm of war is going to disturb the little town in the story. When the war does come and ruins life in the peaceful village, that scene is introduced with the title "And the storm breaks."
- Subverted in Mary Poppins considering uses this at the beginning for when Bert recognizes something in the air that portends some wonderfully magical and familiar about to happen, namely Mary Poppins is coming back to London.
- 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.
- 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 Film Series
- 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.
- In Dracula Untold, Dracula's final confrontation against the Ottomans has him striding toward them surrounded by a literal storm created by his powers as they look on in terror.
- Babylon A.D.: The movie ends with Toorop telling his children left to him by Aurora after her Death by Childbirth that there's a storm coming.
- Played eerily straight Jonestown. On the day of the Jonestown massacre a severe thunderstorm pours torrential rain on the settlement. Survivor Tim Carter remarks that it was "as if evil itself had blown into Jonestown."
- The night of Oliver Cromwell's death was marked by one of the worst storms ever to hit England, possibly a hurricane akin to that recorded in 1987. There was speculation, particularly in Ireland, that this was the Devil coming to claim his own.
- The Bible often associates strange and adverse weather with significant events: we have the whole world going dark, cold and stormy during Jesus's death on the cross, for instance. And the Book of Revelation is full of grim forebodings that the End of the World will be accompanied by dramatic weather phenomena - storms, lightnings, rains of blood. et c.
- One of Ours: As Claude goes to bed in his Nebraska farmhouse, after he and his family talk about World War I just then breaking out in Europe.
“The night was sultry, with thunder clouds in the sky and an unceasing play of sheet-lightning all along the western horizon.”
- 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.
- This is a rare talent called Listening to the Wind: she can foretell the weather, but this later extends to political and military upheaval and violence. During the last few books, as the Last Battle draws near, it becomes next to useless because all she can sense is the coming storm.
- 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 separate instance in A Crown of Swords lampshades this:
- 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:
- 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."
Harry: I had preparations to make. There was a storm coming in.
- 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.
- Also in the end of Cold Days where not only is there a real storm coming but this is also the book where Harry (and the reader) learn what's really going on and how big the stakes really is with the threat from the Outsiders.
- 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.
- An odd little anecdote concerns Tolkein's one and only attempt at a science fiction story, preserved as a snippet in one of the Unfinished Tales anthologies. Written in the 1940's at the prompting of his friend C. S. Lewis, in an attempt to Homage Lewis' style and themes, the action takes place in the South of England in October 1987. (Seen as sufficently far into the future) during the worst storm ever to hit England. And in October 1987 (fifteen years after Tolkein's death) - guess what happened in the South of England...
- 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.
- 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..."
- This is also the opening line of A Wrinkle in Time.
- 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.
- The climax to Stephen King's It ends with a literal storm to end all storms. A tempest such that not only does the town of Derry flood, but there are also instances of beer taps pouring blood, a man getting decapitated by a wind-thrown manhole cover, and both a giant Paul Bunyan statue and a glass walkway both explode for no apparent reason.
- 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."
- The Stormlight Archive: Dalinar receives a warning from the Almighty in his visions. "The Everstorm comes. The True Desolation. the Night of Sorrows." This world also has massive storms across the entire landmass every few days, and 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.
- Sci-Fi Channel's miniseries Tin Man used it as Arc Words. The storm refers to both the storm that brought the protagonist (we are dealing with the Land of Oz), and the Total Eclipse of the Plot that threatens the land due to the Witch's plan to bring about The Night That Never Ends
- 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.
- 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 precede 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:
Emperor Turhan: How will this end?
- Ambassador Kosh has a suitably ominous comment on the subject of Narn/Centauri relations during the second season:
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 Terminator: 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."
- Person of Interest
- In "Proteus," Reese (speaking literally) says that the storm is passing, and Finch (speaking metaphorically) says that it's just beginning.
- In the Season 4 episode "The Cold War", Samaritan has created a crime-free New York to show it can do Team Machine's job more efficiently. Finch says this is only the calm before the storm. Samaritan then creates chaos to force the Machine to the bargaining table. When the phones start to ring with the Numbers of impending homicides, Root says, "Harold? I think it just started to rain."
- 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.
- Blake's 7. In "Sarcophagus", Vila has a feeling that a storm is coming, which is unlikely given that they're on a spaceship. Then someone gets a shock from touching a console, and they realise it's due to a build-up of static electricity like you'd have before a storm. Sure enough, this heralds the appearance of the Monster of the Week.
- Bob Dylan's anthemic "Blowin' in the Wind" from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, 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" from Bringing It All Back Home.
- "All Along the Watchtower" from John Wesley Harding is an ominous song in itself, but it really kicks in at "And the wind began to howl", especially in the Jimi Hendrix version from Electric Ladyland 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.
- "Storm Is Coming" by GWAR.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival had three; "Bad Moon Rising" from Green River, "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" from Pendulum, and "Who'll Stop the Rain?" from Cosmos Factory.
- Tom Waits' song "Earth Died Screaming" from Bone Machine 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.
- Even though an actual storm isn't referenced, this trope can be used well for GWAR's "Storm is Coming".
- "Look Out Cleveland" by The Band.
- "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones from Let It Bleed.
- 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.
Black storms shake the sky. Dark clouds blind us. Although pain and death await us. Duty calls us against the enemy.
- An image used by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the sinister figure at the center of the song Red Right Hand from Let Love In.
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.
- In Garth Brooks' song "When the Thunder Rolls", he sings about an unfaithful man rushing home to his suspecting wife during an upcoming storm. Throughout, sound effects of thunder accentuate the music, building up to a confrontation at the song's end.
- "Tales of The Fallen Ales" by Lagerstein:
Far on the horizonA deadly force is bornThe only brew a pirate fearsIs the brewing of a storm...
- Invoked by Game of Thrones with "Winter Is Coming"; as the player challenges the various Houses, the corresponding shots "ice over," and no progress can be made until the player collects the House's hurry-up value.
- 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."
- 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.
- Mentioned on "One Day More" in Les Misérables.
Enjolras: "One more day before the storm!"
- Damas in Jak 3: Wastelander'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 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, 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. That said, 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 southern Kenya. 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.
- In Xenoblade, after the whole mess is over at Prison Island, Alvis and Zanza have a short talk. Afterwords, it ends with Zanza stating that he sees a storm on the horizon.
- Episode 1 of Life Is Strange opens with Max having what is apparently a dream about a massive tornado ripping through her hometown; and at the end of the episode, she has the dream again, but this time she finds a newspaper dated four days from the present, implying that she's Dreaming of Things to Come. This overshadows the rest of the game as, among other things, Max tries to understand how, if possible, she can prevent this disaster.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Alduin invokes this. Among the many, many powers that Thu'um Shouts have is the ability to summon storms, ominous clouds, and fog. Alduin does so several times in Skyrim.
- In The Secret World, the Dragon are constantly talking about the butterfly whose wings will eventually cause a hurricane; subverted in that this excites them, and they identify as the butterfly who will throw the world into chaos.
- In Cunning Fire Bahram mentions that a "Storm is on its way", both in a literal and figurative sense.
- Lampshaded (and somewhat justified) in this strip of The Order of the Stick.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Zimmy mentions "... a storm's brewin'. A biggun," near the start of Chapter 11. Though at the end, the foreshadowed storm ends up relieving the rising tension.
- Sluggy Freelance's "Stormbreaker Saga" milks this at length.
- In the Sister II arc of El Goonish Shive, this trope comes in to play here. Needless to say, the high school shown is attacked by a wizard later that day.
- The Phoenix Requiem has a chapter titled Approaching Storm. Yes, it rains too.
- In Impure Blood, Mac spots one, but thinks it's nothing. The ever cheerful Mac.
- In Sinfest, Fuschia brings up omnious impending rainstorms when she considers being refused and when she calms down Tomey.
- Presumably the reason the Homestuck music "Black Rose/Green Sun" has the rumble of thunder in the background.
- In Faux Pas,
- The trope is almost said word for word by a victim in chapter five of Cause of Death. The climax of the story arc also occurs during the aforementioned storm.
- Umineko: When They Cry 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.
- When The Nostalgia Critic was unable to find enough game show recordings to do his planned conclusion to Nickelodeon Month, he said he'd take anything Nickelodeon had to offer, even the worst. Storm clouds gathered and gathered, until revealing Good Burger.
- In lords of creation one of the gods Crux, The Broken Storm, is followed by an ever-present smoky mantle that occasionally turns into a thunder cloud.
- 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.
- The first volume of Winston Churchill's war memoirs are called The Gathering Storm and focus on the road to war and how he unsuccessfully spent the 1930s trying to warn of the danger that Hitler posed to Europe, and remind people that Britain was unprepared for war. They made a movie out of it, with Albert Finney.