Follow TV Tropes


Weather Report Opening

Go To

"It was one of those nights when the sky came down and wrapped itself around the world."
— Opening words of The Big Kill by Mickey Spillane

Weather Report Opening is when some of the first words in a story are a comment on the weather. Seen a lot in Literature, but also shows up in Film Noir detective stories when the narration begins "The rain was making a jazz drumbeat against my office window when the dame with the case walked in...", or something similar.

"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" is the best known example and, by now, a subtrope by itself. A Storm Is Coming is when this is employed as Ominous Foreshadowing. For another atmospheric beginning, see "Pan from the Sky" Beginning.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Including a line about the weather is traditionally part of the opening paragraph when writing (paper) letters to someone in Japan. Here, it's less whether outside it's sunny or rainy or whatever and more about the season — references to the state of the Cherry Blossoms or whether the cicadas are out are more in line. For an example, check the pre-credits monologue of Nodoka's letter to her Student Council President predecesor Sokabe-sempai in K-On! (season 2, episode 7).

    Comic Books 
  • Early in The Long Halloween, Selina Kyle remarks, "It's hot. Years from now, when it gets hot at night, people will say 'It's hot, but not as hot as the night Johnny Viti got married.'"
  • The first line in Sin City: "The night is hot as hell".

    Fan Works 
  • Ancient Languages opens with, "It was a Tuesday morning, the sky was black, and the earth seemed to tremble with the mighty rumbling of the thunder. The rain was coming down in sheets, and the wind whipped the trees around like they were twigs."
  • The Last Kiss Goodbye (a Voyager uber fic with Captain Janeway as a private eye in Los Angeles) opens with "It was one of those hot LA days when the sun reached down and casually smacked you around the head till you were drenched in sweat like a second rate palooka after a ten-round bout." Not to be outdone, the following night is "one of those cold LA nights when the fog swept in from the ocean and wrapped this tawdry harlot of a town in a thick blanket to hide its phony glitter from the rest of the world." But as the protagonist points out, Hollywood is full of cliches.
  • Legendary Genesis: The story has been criticized for its flowery opening paragraph.
    Milky morning light illuminated the murky bog, softening its normally sinister atmosphere. The air was smolderingly humid, and the repulsive odor of steaming swamp gas and rotting vegetation emanated from the green, stagnant water.
  • "Remember Angola", the first slash fanzine of The Professionals printed and sold (in 1981) started thus:
    Bodie watched the rivulets of rain running steadily down the car window, then cast a weary eye at the windscreen, where the soft pattering indicated that the rain which had been falling all day showed no signs of letting up.

    Films — Animation 
  • Literally the first words heard in Kiki's Delivery Service, from Kiki's (father's) transistor radio, are a weather forecast.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in Amélie, the (more technical than usual) weather report is the final line of the film's Talky Bookends:
    September 28, 1997. It is exactly 11 a.m. At the funfair, near the ghost train, the marshmallow twister is twisting. Meanwhile, on a bench in Villette Square, Felix Lerbier learns there are more links in his brain than atoms in the universe. Meanwhile, at the Sacré-Cœur, the nuns are practicing their backhand. The temperature is 24 degrees, humidity 70%, atmospheric pressure 990 millibars.
  • Played with in Throw Momma from the Train.
    • Larry Donner suffers writer's block to the point that the only thing he had written for his new novel is, "The night was..." He kept trying variations:
      "The night was dry. Yet it was raining."
      "The night was hot and wet..."
      "The night was moist..."
    • The fact that Owen Lift's badly written story, "Murder at My Friend Harry's" began, "The night was humid...," nearly caused Larry to have a migraine. And Momma Lift's perfect suggestion, "The night was sultry" gives Larry impetus to throw her off a speeding train.
  • The first scene in Groundhog Day shows Phil in the studio giving a weather report to the TV audience.
  • The 1981 scifi parody The Creature Wasnt Nice:
    Max the computer: Goooood morning! It's a bright new day aboard the good ship Vertigo! The time is 8:30 in the a.m. The weather outside is a brisk 200 degrees below zero!

  • In Nineteen Eighty-Four: "It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
  • The Big Sleep: "It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills." The fact that it's mid October is relevant to the timeline of events, and the rain shows up later as an example of Empathic Environment.
  • The Day Santa Stopped Believing In Harold: The story begins with "one stormy night".
  • The Jungle Book:
    • "Mowgli's Brothers", and thus the book itself, begins, "It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest..." (One does wonder why Kipling mentions the specific time, since wolves presumably don't have clocks.)
    • "Her Majesty's Servants", begins: "It had been raining heavily for one whole month—raining on a camp of thirty thousand men, thousands of camels, elephants, horses, bullocks, and mules all gathered together at a place called Rawalpindi."
  • The Little Sister: "It was one of those clear, bright summer mornings we get in the early spring in California before the high fog sets in. The rains are over. The hills are still green and in the valley across the Hollywood hills you can see snow on the high mountains."
  • "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel" from William Gibson's Neuromancer.
  • Neil Gaiman
    • The famous opening to Neuromancer is parodied in Neverwhere because by the time Gaiman was writing, TVs didn't show static if there wasn't a signal.
      The sky was the perfect untroubled blue of a television screen turned to a dead channel.
    • An obligatory trope in his parody The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds as the protagonist is a private eye (it becomes a Brick Joke when the story ends with him ringing up the tourist board to complain because it never stops raining).
      I sat in my office, nursing a glass of hooch and idly cleaning my automatic. Outside the rain fell steadily, like it seems to do most of the time in our fair city, whatever the tourist board says.
  • Uglies begins with "The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit." And then describes the diet said cat would need to get all the colors right.
  • "Red Wind" by Raymond Chandler:
    There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, a few paragraphs in you have, "Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square."
  • J. K. Rowling seems to be pretty fond of this; instead of just telling you that x months have passed, you get a lovely description of Scottish weather patterns.
  • Wyrd Sisters parodies this. The narration begins with and keeps mentioning a storm, but in fact the storm is treated as a sentient background character (this is Discworld, after all).
  • "It's Raining Annie" opens Annie on My Mind. The author says this was the first line written as well.
  • The second sentence of The Castle of Wolfenbach:
    The evening was cold and tempestuous, the rain poured in torrents, and the distant thunders rolled with tremendous noise round the adjacent mountains, whilst the pale lightning added horrors to the scene.
  • The Name of the Rose starts with "It was a beautiful morning at the end of November" (if you discount the prologue).
  • An Encounter and an Offer has the first few paragraphs telling you all about the day's dreary weather.
  • Bread Overhead, a sci-fi comedy by Fritz Leiber, begins with a "blisteringly hot but guaranteed weather-controlled future summer day".
  • Justified Trope in The Long Rain by Ray Bradbury, given that the rain is the subject of this sci-fi short story set on Venus.
    The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains. It came by the pound and the ton, it hacked at the jungle and cut the trees like scissors and shaved the grass and tunneled the soil and molted the bushes. It shrank men’s hands into the hands of wrinkled apes; it rained a solid glassy rain, and it never stopped.
  • Used for Deliberate Values Dissonance in Who Needs Men?.
    It was a fine summer morning — perfect for Extermination Day.
  • One of the characters in Radiance is a Private Detective, so his introductory scene has the obligatory Weather Report Opening in first person. As this is an Alternate History Science Fiction novel, the weather is on a habitable Uranus.
  • Kane Series
    • "Reflections on the Winter of My Soul" starts—fittingly—with a description of a winter blizzard.
      Outside, the blizzard gathered howling force with each minute—a fury of white crystalline coldness whose blasts penetrated the thick stone walls, raced through dark hallways and billowed the heavy tapestries.
    • "Mirage" opens with a description of a terribly hot summer day, which saps the strength of a group of mercenaries trying to escape following a lost war.
      Death came shimmering through the afternoon heat.
  • As noted above, the opening line of Paul Clifford - "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" - is now a trope in its own right, and the phrase itself is better known than the book that spawned it. This was fairly common for author Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who coined a number of still-in-use phrases but whose works themselves are rarely read today.
  • Lightning by Dean Koontz begins with a rare snow-and-lightning storm, the importance of which is explained much later.
  • Subverted in the Alistair MacLean novel South By Java Head which opens with a long description of the cloud of black smoke choking Singapore, which has been bombed by the Japanese.
  • The Famous Five book Five on Finniston Farm begins with Julian saying how hot the weather is, and that living at the Equator would be cool in comparison.
  • The children's book More Ant And Bee begins with Ant and Bee sitting in their garden on a hot day, and Bee feeling as hot as a boiled egg. When Ant says that their garden is the hottest place in the world, Bee says that Asia is much hotter, and they decide to visit Asia.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: "Radio Bombay" begins with a conversation about the weather.
  • Dragnet almost always mentioned the current weather in Los Angeles at the very beginning of the episode.
  • Fawlty Towers: "The Wedding Party" begins with the Major commenting on how warm the weather is that evening, setting the scene for Polly and some of the guests being scantily clad.
  • Seinfeld, "The Marine Biologist ": In-Universe, when George tells the story of how he saved a beached whale.
    George: The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli.
  • Ripping Yarns, "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite": The episode starts with a very thorough report about rainy weather. It's Eric's voice over narration.
    Eric: It were always raining in Denley Moor. Except on days when it were fine. And there weren't many of them. Not if you include drizzle as rain. And even if it weren't drizzling, it were overcast, and there were a lot of moisture in the air. You'd come home damp as if it had been raining, even though there hadn't actually been evidence of precipitation in the rain gauge outside the town hall. And the humidity level on the weather chart was constant for the entire period, despite...

  • Paris's The Hate That Hate Made features the lyrics, "June 6 in the time of 6 o'clock/hot summer night in the city of hard knocks/two black brothers took a walk on the south side/could have been any brother lookin' for a dope ride".
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9: First Impression Part One": "Cold and misty morning I heard a warning borne on the air..."
  • Parodied in Tom Waits' Emotional Weather Report, which (true to its title) intertwines weather descriptions with descriptions of the narrator's emotional state.
  • The whole song of "Summer in the City" is a weather forecast: hot, humid, and miserable during the day, cooler and less oppressive at night.
  • Folk song "One Misty Moisty Morning": "One misty moisty morning when cloudy was the weather/I met with an old man a-clothed all in leather."
  • ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" begins with a literal weather report, delivered with the crackle and reverb of a radio broadcaster predicting a clear day ahead. The track then launches into first verse of the song, with Jeff Lynne breathlessly describing a beautiful day with cloudless skies and abundant sunshine:
    Intro: "Morning! Today's forecast calls for blue skies."
    Verse 1: The sun is shining in the sky
    There ain't a cloud in sight
    It's stopped raining, everybody's in the play
    And don't you know, it's a beautiful new day, hey

  • One of the rules of proper Haiku construction is that the second line contain a reference to the season.

  • Almost all of Garrison Keillor's "Tales from Lake Woebegon" and "Guy Noir, Private Eye" on A Prairie Home Companion.
  • The Goon Show, "Dishonoured" (remade as "Dishonoured Again") begins with Peter Sellers narrating: "It can be cold in London - damn cold. On such a night as this 80 years ago a ragged idiot staggered into a fog-laden Limehouse area."
  • Every episode of Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater begins with the words, "It's a foggy night on old Cape Cod."

Alternative Title(s): Weather Report Narration