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Weather Dissonance

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"It wasn't a dark and stormy night.
It should have been, but there's the weather for you. For every mad scientist who's had a convenient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is complete and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who've sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor clocks up the overtime."

Basically, the weather is just wrong for what it's supposed to be. Usually it's because of something like a Weather-Control Machine, sometimes it's from an identifiable source like global warming or "El Niño", but sometimes it's just because we can't perfectly predict the weather. It's just too damn complex.

Weather can be just off, with no explanation. This is usually Empathic Environment or a significant hindrance to what the characters intend. Law of Conservation of Detail ensures that strange weather can not be just a background detail. Anyway, the Weather Report certainly isn't going to predict this.

Note that unusually good weather can also be Weather Dissonance. Unexpected rain in the desert or drought-stricken land, unexpected sunlight in the fog and cloud — it can be ironic, or a good omen, or the Empathic Environment responding to the Happy Ending.

If cold temperature is involved, then Snow Means Cold is likely to occur.

A Super-Trope to Endless Winter.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • It starts snowing in August in Digimon Adventure. The wacky weather is worldwide during the season — in addition to the August snowstorm in the first episode, there is also extremely dry conditions in Southeast Asia (where it would normally be monsoon season) and more snow in the US.
  • Invoked in Fullmetal Alchemist by Roy Mustang when, at the funeral for his friend Maes Hughes, he comments that it's a terrible day for rain. His lieutenant, Riza Hawkeye, points out that it's not raining — the weather is actually very mild — before seeing Mustang shedding tears.
  • Early in Pokémon 2000, a brief snowfall hits Pallet Town during the summer, an early hint that something bad is happening. Later on, there's weird weather all over the place when two of the three legendary birds have been captured by Lawrence III.

    Comic Books 
  • In Marvel Comics, the Casket of Ancient Winters is opened in the Simonson Thor era. This ends up being a godsend for continuity-mad fans to explain away appearances of winter weather in other comics that couldn't have actually happened in winter because of the floating timeline.
  • Storm tends to whip up fogs and tornadoes to suit her purposes, and then there's the time Dr. Doom turned her into a living statue. Claustrophobia + Weather Powers = continent-sized class 5 hurricane.
  • The Powerpuff Girls story "No Business Like Snow Business" (issue #39, August, 2003) has Mojo Jojo creating snow in the summertime after cornering the market on winter goods.
  • Wonder Woman opponent Byrna Brilyant originally used her Weather-Control Machine to cause a snowstorm in farming communities in the summer, forcing the occupants to pay her to stop the storm in order to prevent their crops from being killed.
  • In The Infinity Gauntlet, Wolverine at one point is confused when it starts snowing in May. This is because, due to a cosmic temper tantrum from Thanos, the Earth is moving away from the Sun.

    Fan Works 
  • Our Family, An Ascension: It's mentioned that it's supposed to be summer in the areas surrounding the Last City. However, as a side effect of the Vex's Endless Night, temperatures rapidly drop from the sun's absence and the Last City finds itself in the dead of winter.

    Films — Animation 
  • Near the end of How to Train Your Dragon Hiccup describes the climate along these lines: "It snows nine months out of the year and hails the other three." And yet it's been bright and sunny the entire film.
    • It even rains in one scene!
    • That was hyperbole. In the beginning, Hiccup narrates (falsely, for dramatic purposes) that the place he lives is perfect, aside from the awful dragons. In the end, he turns it around by saying (falsely, for dramatic purposes) that the dragons are the only remotely tolerable thing about his home.
  • In Frozen (2013), it's supposed to be summer in Arendelle, but Elsa's ice powers have frozen the fjord and caused winter to arrive early. There are a few funny reminders that it's July, such as Oaken having a big summer blowout sale, and almost nothing left on the winter department shelves.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the film White Christmas, much of Vermont is in a warm spell, despite being ski season.
  • In Animal Crackers, Chico and Harpo Marx avoid having to go out in a thunderstorm by taking an alternate exit into a sunny garden.
  • Characters in Bride of the Monster note that the near-constant rain is unnatural for their area. At one point Dick Craig and his partner Marty discuss the situation. "Something strange about this rain. Lightning's been going crazy too. Maybe, it's like the papers say- all these atom bombs explosions, distorted the atmosphere". It is implied that Vornoff's experiments may be affecting the weather, but the lines seem to also reflect then-contemporary anxiety about climate change.
  • In Blade Runner 2049, heavy snowfall in excessively sunny Los Angeles is just one of several indicators of how severely Earth's climate has deteriorated. It does a good job at setting the stage for the Crapsack World the audience is about to dive into.

  • Happens all the time in the Weather Wardens books, for obvious reasons. Also, the weather tries to kill humans.
  • In Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, the first ability Ged shows is summoning a mist against a raiding party. Other wizards can control the wind (helpful when sailing among islands) and it was common for a rainstorm to go zigzagging over an island until it reaches the sea where it can rain in peace, without a wizard under it. Ged's mentor, on the other hand, was a wise soul who would let it rain on him.
  • In the Discworld series:
    • Inverted in Thief of Time, when Igor and Jeremy need a thunderstorm to start the Glass Clock. Jeremy keeps claiming that they don't have one (for reasons of his own, mostly to spend more time with Myria LeJean), but Igor points out that they have had several available in the last few weeks, none of which Jeremy has used.
    • In The Truth, Otto bemoans the fact that In Ankh-Morpork, unlike in Überwald, you don't get a roll of thunder anytime you say something dramatic (or just mention the word 'castle'). About halfway through the book, this does start happening. He's thrilled.
  • Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novels.
    • In Brothers of the Snake, rainstorms hit a desert planet during a coronation. At first this is taken as a good omen, but as it grows serious, the people are disturbed and riot. Chaos forces had assassinated the old queen in order that the Requisite Royal Regalia might be removed from what it was protecting.
    • In the Horus Heresy novel Horus Rising, one planet has "shield storms" arising when the Space Marines arrive. Caused, it turns out by trees.
    • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker, the Ghosts are repeatedly hit with Chaos-inflicted weather. Once it downed Gaunt's shuttle, leaving Corbec in command for the first time. At the end of the novel, an eldar summoned a storm to provide shelter for the regiment he wanted to use; it ran wildly and killed many of the troopers.
      • Similarly at the end of Honour Guard, the arrival of Chaos forces was pressauged by a terrible storm.
      • In Blood Pact, the snow. Not too anomolous. On the other hand, it stops during actual attacks by Chaos forces.
  • Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos opens in the rain because the enemy had taken out the (magician) Weather Corps with a lucky shot. The sole survivor was keeping off the dangerous weather, but other than that, they had to take what the enemy threw, and this time, it was rain.
  • In Graham McNeill's Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Davin's moon goes all the way to Climate Dissonance. It's supposed to be hot and dry, and forest where they land. They arrive in the fog to find a landscape of marsh and swamp.
  • Inverted in Good Omens: one of the odd things about the Antichrist's home town was that it always had normal weather for the time of year... the one thing you don't expect in England.
    Newt: When do you remember normal weather for the time of year? Normal weather for the time of year isn't normal, Sergeant. It has snow at Christmas. When did you last see snow at Christmas?
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files:
    • In Small Favor, there is early and heavy snowfall. Harry suspect that Queen Mab sent it as a favor to him, to keep Summer fae from being able to overwhelm him. Harry does concede, however, that it could just be Chicago being Chicago.
    • In Ghost Story, there's heavy snow in Chicago in May. This is because Mab is in town, specifically, on Demonreach, keeping Harry's body alive.
  • In Bryan Miranda's The Journey to Atlantis, there are several instances of this. First is the freak thunderstorm that destroys the ship and strands the characters on the island. Then there are various sunny days, rainy days, and even snowstorms, seemingly coming out of nowhere. It is revealed later that Loki was responsible for most of the weather changes, using them merely to annoy and injure the characters to his liking.
  • In Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter, the snow in Louisana is the sort of thing they can expect until they restore the Spectre.
  • In The Girl from the Miracles District, Nikita keeps noting that even though it's mid-October, the weather is still very summer-like and both migrating birds and the trees that lose their leafs are confused and behaving wrong for the season. It's implied that it's not natural and that the Norse pantheon has something to do with this, but it's never confirmed.
  • The Affix takes place in the second week of November in the northeastern US, during a heat wave that brings sun and humid summer temperatures for a few days. Matt notes how extra wrong it feels because radio stations are already playing Christmas music. This may be related to the Affix awakening, since the gem is a powerful probability warper, but it's never confirmed.
  • In The Magicians, a side-effect of the spells that keep Brakebills hidden from the rest of the world mean that it's a little under three months behind real time; as such, Quentin is rather taken aback when he first arrives, having been summoned from a cold November afternoon in New York into a very pleasant summer's day in Brakebills.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Seasons in the series don't correspond to real life. Each season lasts for years and years on end, with no apparent set length, though it's mentioned that since dragons went extinct over a hundred years ago, summers have been progressively getting shorter and winters longer. At the start of the series, Westeros has been experiencing an unusually long summer (nearly a decade), but many people fear that it's a prelude to an even longer winter to come. Winter officially starts in the epilogue of A Dance with Dragons, when snow begins to fall on King's Landing.
    • The tale of the Long Night, which lasted an entire generation, happened in the midst of a very long winter. The purported instigator of this event, the Others, are believed to come from the Land of Always Winter in the far north of Westeros.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Lampshaded in "Red Light", by David Nail, where the weather is inappropriate for the situation (his significant other is leaving him) rather than for the season
    It ain't the middle of the night
    And it ain't even raining outside
    It ain't exactly what I had in mind
    For goodbye
  • Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne" is about a chance encounter with an old girlfriend on a snowy Christmas Eve, but the weather takes a sudden turn to emphasize the song's bittersweet ending.
    Just for a moment, I was back at school
    And felt that old familiar pain
    And as I turned to make my way back home
    The snow turned into rain

    Video Games 
  • This trope is more or less half the plot of the second Touhou fighting game, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody. Each weather type also has an effect on the game's mechanics.
    • Before this, the plot of Perfect Cherry Blossom starts with snowstorms still occurring in May.
    • And after this, the plot of Hidden Star in Four Seasons revolves around all of Gensokyo being awash with all the four seasons in midsummer.
  • Amnesia: Memories takes place in August and should be among the warmest months of the entire year in Tokyo. But several characters note in the routes that it's unusually cold for the time of the year. Joker World explains the reason. In order to fulfill Ukyo's wish, Lord Nhil turned back time for the world, but didn't have enough power left to turn the world itself back — so while the calender may claim August, it's actually experiencing mid-to-late Autumn weather.
  • Can potentially happen in the Total War games, with intense rainstorms in the desert or snowstorms. You can actually try to control the conditions a little bit using the "wait" option during deployment, which can be useful to avoid battlefield-covering fog - unless, of course, you want fog, rain, or snow for dramatic reasons.
  • LEGO Harry Potter has a specific weather pattern for each year, lasting all year long. In fact, only years 1 and 5 have clear skies. Those Hogwarts students better start taking their Vitamin D.
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire has, towards the end of the plot, one of the Olympus Mons go berserk and causing either a drought with intense sunlight, or a vicious storm in the eastmost part of the region.
    • And in Pokémon Black and White we have Thundurus and Tornadus, who cause violent downpours and windstorms, respectively, wherever they go, be they routes bordering deserts or open sea.
    • Can be invoked with through the various moves and abilities which generate weather effects. Harsh sunlight underground? Check. Hail in the desert? Yep. Gale force wind indoors? Of course. Sandstorm in the sky? Certainly. Rain on the seafloor? Why not?
  • The opening of NieR sets up the whole post-apocalyptic thing by having the city covered in snow. Then pointing out that it is the middle of summer.
  • As part of the central gameplay mechanic in Persona 4, multiple segments are dedicated to watching fog roll in Inaba after a constant rainstorm. This fog comes from a point in which the Midnight Channel has an overflow of fog, which rolls over, causing an extremely dense fog in Inaba, even in the middle of summer. It eventually becomes lampshaded when the local weather channel decides that this phenomenon is bad for public health and warns the people, which is partially correct due to the people thrown within the TV end up with lowered stamina, but this is otherwise Insane Troll Logic. The True Ending route takes this one step further: an unusual fog creates a "Cloudy Day" that would have lasted forever if taken the OK/Bad Endings, and it's the exact same kind as the Midnight Channel's.
  • In Silent Hill, Kauffman points out how strange it is for snow to be falling "this time of year", though he never says exactly what time of year it is.
  • In WarioWare: Move it!, Young Cricket and Master Mantis are training at Flashfreeze Cape, which is a sunny cape that suddenly likes to get incredibly cold from one second to the other.
  • Episode 1 of Life Is Strange ends with snow falling in October during fairly mild weather. It's just one of several anomalies heralding the deadly tornado approaching Arcadia Bay.

    Web Original 
  • In the webnovel DO NOT TAKE THE SHELLS, the town of Taveye is cloudy all the time, despite the story taking place in the middle of summer.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Job," Richard gets a job as a pizza delivery man, which causes bizarre things to happen all over Elmore. One of the effects is snow, despite the episode apparently taking place in June.
  • The Batman episode "The Big Chill" starts with Gotham in the middle of a heat wave. Things quickly change when a boat comes across an iceberg in the harbour, courtesy of Mr Freeze.
  • The Boondocks episode "The Block Is Hot" features a 90° F day and its effects on the people of the neighborhood — only to have those effects rapidly undone when it turns out that it's February and it starts abruptly snowing again. Suddenly Huey doesn't look so out of place in his heavy coat he's been wearing the whole time.
  • The Rocky and Bullwinkle story arc "Topsy Turvy World" featured this. The heroes first notice something is wrong when the weather in their hometown of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota gets so warm that the snow melts. This is believed to be impossible to the point that no thermometer in town goes above 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The heroes soon discover that weather is crazy all over the world and soon find out why. So much snow has fallen on the polar ice caps at the North Pole that the now top heavy Earth has tilted sideways causing the North Pole to now be at the equator and the tropical island of Riki Tiki was now the new North pole.

    Real Life 
  • Calgary, Alberta. Blizzards in June, heat waves in January, sixteen inches of rain in two days followed by two years of drought...
    • Case in point, a big snowstorm caused a major panic in 2014... because it happened in early September, when the trees still hadn't lost their leaves, meaning big branches or even entire trees were falling all over the place.
  • On January 11, 2008, snow fell in Baghdad for the first time in a hundred years.
  • 1816 was known as the Year Without a Summer (along with other names like Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death) due to an unusual reduction of solar activity and the ash cloud of the Mt Tambora eruption, which caused a major cooling trend across North America and Europe.
  • British Weather has its own page.
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach plays with this. It's a water park with a ski resort theme, despite central Florida lacking both mountains and snow.
  • Storm Filomena, that hit Spain in January 2021 covering for example Madrid in up to 24 inches (a lot for what's usual for snowfalls on such city) of snow, causing a significant amount of damage.

Alternative Title(s): The Heavens Dont Care