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UNIT 6. SEASONS AND WEATHER. 6.1.WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE? READING


Text 1. The Four Seasons (A)

There are four seasons of a year. They are: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each season has three months.

Spring begins in March and ends in May. The spring months are March, April and May. In spring the air is fresh, but it often rains. The grass is soft and green. The days become longer and the nights shorter. Many people try to spend more time out-of-doors. Nature awaken from her long winter sleep.

The summer months are June, July and August. When summer comes the weather gets warmer and sometimes it´s hot. The sky is clear and cloudless. The days are long and the nights are short and warm. Summer is a good season for swimming in a river or sea. Besides, summer is a good time for holidays.

September is the first month of autumn. October and November are the next. When autumn comes the days get colder. The trees turn yellow. The leaves begin to turn yellow and fall to the ground. It is rather warm in the day time, but it is already cool at night. Autumn is harvest time. There are plenty of fruits in our orchards. The farmers gather crops and pick fruit. It often rains in autumn. Autumn is a rainy season. The days become shorter and the nights longer.

Winter is the coldest season. The winter months are: December, January and February. In winter we have often hard frost. It is a cold season. It often snows. In winter the sun shines rarely. It rises late and sets early. The temperature is low. The sky is often covered with gray heavy clouds. The rivers and lakes are covered with ice. The nights are long and the days are short. Winter is the season for winter sports and games.

Note

«It is raining cats and dogs!»

When it pours with rain we often say: «It´s raining cats and dogs!» But we don´t know why, and what this saying´s original meaning was.

In distant times, people thought that witches could turn themselves into cats and ride across the stormy skies on their broomsticks, cats were thought to be a big influence on the weather.

The dog was the servant of the Norse storm god, Odin, and represented the wind. Cats and dogs from that time have meant the wind and the rain.

Exercises

Read and translate the text.

Answer the questions:

How many seasons are there in a year?

What season is it now? Do you like it?

What is the weather like today?

Is it raining today? Is it snowing today?

Do you know the weather forecast for today?

What weather do you like?

What is your favourite season? Why?

Read the following passages and named them:

This season brings with it the harvest-time, when crops are gathered in and the fruit is picked in the orchards. The days get shorter and the nights longer. The woods turn yellow and brown, leaves begin to fall from the trees and the ground is covered with them. The skies are grey, and very often it rains.

When it comes, we´re obliged to spend more time indoors because out-of-doors it´s cold. We may get fog, sleet and frost. Ponds, lakes, rivers and streams are frozen, and the roads are sometimes covered with slippery ice or deep

snow. The trees are bare. Bitter north winds have stripped them of all their leaves.

When it comes the weather gets warmer and sometimes it´s very hot. It´s the farmer´s busy season: — he works in his fields from morning till night. The grass must be cut and the hay must be made, while the dry weather lasts. Sometimes the skies are overcast with heavy clouds. There are storms with thunder, lightning and hail.

The nature awakens from her long winter sleep. The trees are filled with new life, the earth is warmed by the rays of the sun, and the weather gets gradually milder. The fields and meadows are covered with fresh green grass. The sky is blue and cloudless. At night millions of stars shine in the darkness.

Text 2. Weather Conditions (B)

As we know the weather depends on the season and the climate of the country, and the latter depends on the geographical position of the country.

Our country, Ukraine, has a moderate-continental climate.

England has a rather damp climate due to the effect of the warm current of the Gulf-Stream. The British Isles are surrounded by the ocean and have an insular climate.

The weather changes with the changing of the season. Consider autumn, for example. In autumn the sky is often cloudy, the sun hides behind the clouds and then appears again. Its rays have already lost their strength and the sun is not so bright now as it was in summer. The air is moist. Days get shorter and the nights longer. As autumn is a rainy season, the weather is mostly dull, and, of course, it is not attractive. As a matter of fact, I don´t like rain of any kind, even if it just drizzles. But there is a spell of sunny weather in late September, which we call Indian summer, when the sun shines brightly, the sky is rather cloudless and there is a carpet of multicoloured leaves on the ground. It is really golden autumn. But in any case, nature begins to fade away. Later the frost will cover the ground at night and remind us about winter coming. As for me, I am not fond of autumn, but there are a lot of people trying to look at the reverse side of the medal. They prefer autumn to any other season. As they say, it is the time of harvest, tasty fruit and vegetables, the time of beautiful golden leaves, the time when nature is very attractive.

Some people are fond of winter. They consider winter to be the healthiest season. In winter we can go in for winter kinds of sports: skating, skiing, tobogganing. In winter the sun shines rarely, its rays are pale, it sets early and rises late. The air is frosty, hard frost sets in, large snowflakes slowly fall to the ground, the streets are slippery with ice. The rivers and lakes are covered with thick sheet of ice, they are frozen. The icicles glitter in the sun, the temperature falls and the snow may fall thick. Going out in such weather is not pleasant and the old people prefer to stay at home. But children enjoy being out-of-doors. They like to make a snow-man and to throw snowballs. Their cheeks are burning with frost. How bitterly cold it is!

By the end of the winter the temperature rises and the snow begins to melt. Thaw sets in. The sun grows warmer and soon there won´t be any ice but plenty of water. The rivers are in flood.

Nature awakens from its long winter sleep. The birds come back from the warm lands, the trees begin to bud and soon tiny green leaves will appear. Thin new blades of grass come up, the fruit trees begin to blossom. Everything looks magic covered with green carpet. The farmers till the soil and sow the seed. We are all welcomed and advent of spring. Nature looks full of promise. Spring is the season of hopes, it´s the season of revival of nature and people´s dreams. It´s my favourite season, I must admit.

After spring the summer comes. As the great Russian poet Pushkin said, «Oh, summer fine! I´d love you, but for the heat, the mosquitos and flies!» In fact, sometimes the heat is oppressive. But people usually like summer, because they have their holidays. It´s a good time for going to the seashore or a river beach, to bask in the sun, to become sunburnt, to swim, to pick berries and mushrooms, to gather flowers. We try to spend much time out-of-doors. But the weather is changeable in summer. It is the time of showers, rains and thunderstorms. The days become longer and the nights shorter. We can enjoy resting after hard work during the whole year.

To cut the long story short, I must confess that every season is beautiful and attractive in its own way. And as one of the famous poets says, «I see no reason to speak in prize of any season».

Exercises

Read and translate the text.

Fill in the missing words:

1. In autumn the sky is often ..., the sun ... behind the clouds and then ... again.

As autumn is a rainy season, the weather is mostly ..., and, of course, it is not ... .

I don´t like rain of any kind, even if it just . .

But in any case, nature begins to . .

They . autumn to any other season.

It is the time of ... , tasty ... and vegetables, time of beautiful ... leaves, the time when nature is very . .

They consider winter to be the . season.

In winter the sun shines ..., its rays are ..., it sets early and ... late.

Large . slowly fall to the ground, the streets are . with ice.

The ... glitter in the sun.

But children enjoy being ... .

By the end of the winter the temperature ... and the snow begins to ... .

The rivers are in ... .

The trees begin to ... and soon ... green leaves will appear.

Thin new ... of grass come up, the fruit trees begin to ... .

The farmers till the ... and ... the seed.

We all welcomed and ... of spring.

In fact, sometimes the heat is ... .

But the weather is ... in summer.

I see no reason to speak ... of any season.

3) For each rhyme place the letter of the best meaning in the space provided: A. summer; B. spring; C. winter; D. autumn.

The trees are green, Blue skies are seen, White winter´s gone away,

The world looks new and gay. ...

The snow is falling, The wind is blowing, The ground is white All day and all night. ...

Yellow, red and green and brown See the little leaves come down, Dancing, dancing in the breeze, Falling, falling from the trees. ...

The sun is shining,

The flowers are blooming, The sky is blue, The rains are few. .

5. See the pretty snowflakes Falling from the sky,

On the walls and housetops Soft and thick they lie. .

6. The summer is over, The trees are bare, There´s mist in the garden And frost in the air. .

7. This is the season When children ski, And Father Frost

Brings the New Year tree. ...

8. This is the season When mornings are dark And birds do not sing In the wood and the park. ...

9. I see the summer birds fly South Now the days are cool. Do they look down and see That I am on my way to school? ...

10. But now is ... , The branches are bare, There´s ice on the puddles And frost in the air. .

8. This is the season When fruit is sweet, This is the season, When school friends meet. ...

Text 3. What does the weather depend on? (B)

The weather depends on the season and the climate of the country, and the latter depends on its geographical position. We speak of a mild climate, a damp climate, an extreme or continental climate, an equable or moderate climate, etc.

England has a rather damp climate due to the effect of the warm current of the Gulf Stream.

The USA has an equable continental climate, except for Florida and the Mexican coast, where the climate is tropical and subtropical.

The weather, as you know, changes with the changing of the seasons. In autumn the sky is often cloudy (overcast). The sun often goes in (hides behind the clouds), and then comes put again. Its rays often lose their strength, so that we can see the sun, but we don´t feel its warmth.

The atmosphere can be misty, the air can be moist.

Autumn is a rainy season and the weather is mostly dull. But there may be a spell of sunny weather in late September, which is called Indian summer, when the sky seems high, the sun shines and the earth is covered with fallen leaves. And we like to watch the yellow, red and russet leaves fall on the paths in the parkland gardens. The leaves are swept off, piled in heaps and taken away. The rustle of the fallen leaves under our feet are signs of early autumn.

But sunny days are rare. There is either a thin continuous rain, called a drizzle, or it pours and the English people say: «It´s raining cats and dogs», while the Americans say: «It´s raining pitchforks». Then the earth is muddy, the mud sticks to our boots. The streets are covered with slush, everything looks gloomy and we say: «It´s beastly wet!» The days rapidly shorten. Winter sets in.

In winter the sky is pale, grey, leaden and has low clouds. Snowflakes fall from the grey sky and we say: «It´s snowing» or «It´s snowing heavily» or «There´s a heavy snowfall» (a heavy fall of snow). In winter the sun shines rarely, its rays are pale, it sets early and rises late.

The air is frosty, a hard frost sets in, but then the temperature rises and we say: «The frost has broken».

When the frost breaks, snowflakes begin to fall. They cover the ground with a white sheet, there are loads of snow on the branches of the trees, and we say: «What deep snow» or «The snow lies deep».

On a rainy morning there is a hoarfrost on the trees and icicles hang from the roofs of the houses.

Sometimes it´s slippery and one must be careful when crossing the road. And sometimes there is a violent, cutting north wind that turns the snow into a regular snowstorm and drives the snow into snowdrifts. When the wind stops blowing we say: «The wind has dropped».

The rivers and lakes are covered with a thick sheet of ice and we; say: «The river is frozen over» or «The frost has locked the river».

The frost doesn´t lock the sea, but the sea isn´t calm at that period, it´s mostly rough, there may be gales over the sea. If the snow doesn´t last long and a thaw sets in, the roads become slushy, it often sleets, and we say: «What nasty weather!»

Towards the end of the winter the temperature grows milder, the snow begins to melt, the sky becomes blue, and great white clouds soon lift, it clears up and stops raining, and a rainbow may be seen in the sky.

The sun grows warmer and under the bright sunrays the icy sheet on the rivers and lakes cracks and begins to melt, and soon there is no more ice but plenty of water, and we say that the river is in flood. The damp black earth comes but in the places where the snow has melted and there are rivulets flowing down the streets. The air is fresh, it smells of the damp earth and the young buds on the trees.

The first crocuses appear, the grass shoots up and grows visibly. The buds gradually turn into the tiny young leaves and a light wind (a breeze) stirs them softly.

The birds come back from the warm lands and twitter in the trees and bathe in the puddles left after a spring shower. «April showers bring May flowers» — the proverb goes.

Thin new blades of grass come up and the blossoms on the fruit-trees come out, filling the air with their fragrance. Everything looks fresh, new and joyous. It´s Spring, the revival of Nature.

By and by the sunrays become hot, the days are long, the nights short and warm — Summer has come.

The sky is cloudless, but if the heatwave lasts too long, black clouds cover the sky all of a sudden, the warm air becomes hot and sultry, and we say: «A storm is brewing».

After an oppressive silence: a gust of wind raises a cloud of dust and we hear a loud roll of thunder. The thunder rolls and the lightning flashes.

The thunder crashes and the first drops of rain tall on the dusty grass. A clap (peal) of thunder, another clap, and a heavy fall of rain. The rain cools the air and lays the dust. The grass and the foliage on the trees, that the dust made look quite grey, are green again. All the plants are refreshed, everything looks fresh and bright. The river is glittering in the sun, the sea is calm — what glorious weather! And if we think this fine weather will last, we say: «We are in for a spell of fine weather» or «We are in for a fine spell».

Spring is the season of ploughing and sowing; Summer brings us berries and the first fruit and vegetables; Autumn is the season of harvesting, the best fruit and new corn, — it is the season of plenty; Winter is the season of preparatory work in agriculture.

If the weather is fine, we say: «What a lovely day we are having» or «Fair weather, I hope it will keep», or «There is hardly a cloud in the sky», or «There´s hardly any wind at all» etc.

If the weather is bad we usually say: «Nasty weather», «Dull weather», «Wretched weather», «It´s pretty wet», «It´s pouring», «It is raining hard», «It´s rather close, we are going to have a thunderstorm» etc.

We are always anxious to know what the weather is going to be like, and we listen to the weather forecast on the radio. We rejoice when the weather forecast is: «It´s mostly fine or sunny weather with occasional

showers» and we are upset when the forecast is: «Rain, wind moderate to strong» or «Cloudy weather, cold wind».

Ukraine covers an area of 603,700 sq. km and borders on Russia, Belorus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova. The coastline is almost 2,800 sq. km long with the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov washing the Ukrainian shores. Ukraine´s climate can be described as temperate continental and the Southern Crimean coast can be easily called subtropical.

Ukraine´s climate varies not only from the North to the South, but also from the North-West to the South-West as the warm damp air masses become drier moving in. A characteristic feature of the climate is an increase in its continental nature from the West to the East. A feature of Ukraine´s climate is a considerable fluctuation in weather conditions from year to year. Alongside very wet years there can be droughts, whose effect increases to the South and East. There are frequent oscillations in weather in the regions of the Crimea and the Carpathian mountains.

Exercises:

Answer the questions:

Why has Britain´s weather got such a bad reputation?

What is it that British people always seem to be talking about?

Is there a saying that Britain doesn´t have climate, it only has weather?

What about the reputation of Ukraine´s climate and weather?

What part of Ukraine do you live in? What is its climate like?

Match a line in A with a line in B:

It´s interesting to know

Text 1. The Weather in London (A)

When two Englishmen meet, their first words will be «How do you do?» or «How are you?» And after the reply «Very well, thank you; how are you?» the next remark is almost certain to be about the weather. «It´s a lovely morning, isn´t it?» or «Isn´t it hot today?» and the other person will reply «Yes, it´s, wonderful weather we are having. I hope it will keep fine, it seems almost too good to last».

Or perhaps the day is dull, it is raining a little, the sky is grey and everyone is wearing a mackintosh or carrying an umbrella. As the cars and buses go along the street, they splash the water and mud on the passers-by.

Gradually it gets darker a thick fog is spreading over London. The lamps are lit in the streets and in the shops and offices; cars and buses put on their lights and can only crawl along. As one friend bumps into another. He says, «Isn´t it a beastly day?» — «Yes», replies the other, «You can hardly see a yard in front of you».

Then comes winter. There has been a good fall of snow and a hard frost. It is just the day for a good country walk; let us have a tramp down the country lanes. The ground is like iron and rings under our feet, the frost sparkles on the branches, and the icicles hang from the houses.

It is still freezing hard and the ponds are frozen over. There are crowds of people on them sliding and skating, and here is a merry group of schoolboys having a fight with snowballs. It is very pleasant while the frost lasts, the unpleasant time comes when the thaw begins.

A few months have passed and it is a beautiful spring day. The rain fell heavily, last night, but now the soft white clouds are floating across the blue sky, and the sun is shining brightly. Raindrops and dew-drop´s shine on every small green leaf and every blade of young grass.

The farmer has ploughed his fields and the new corn is just beginning to appear above the ground. In a few months autumn and harvest time will come. When the corn has turned ripe and golden the farmer will reap it and put it in his barn.

Text 2. The Climate of Great Britain (A)

The climate of the United Kingdom is generally mild and temperature is due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The south-eastern winds carry the warmth and moisture to Britain. The climate in Britain is usually described as cool, temperate and humid. It´s often foggy in Great Britain.

The weather is so changeable that the English often say that they have no climate but only weather.

Sometimes it rains so heavily that they say: «It rains cats and dogs». Rainfall is more or less equal throughout the year. In the mountains there is heavier rainfall than in the plains of the South and the East. The driest period is from March to June and the wettest months are from October to January.

The average range of temperature (from winter to summer) is from 5 to 23 degrees above zero. In the South of the country the temperature sometimes rises above 30 degrees. Winter temperatures below 10 degrees are rare. It seldom snows heavily, frost is rare. January and February are usually the coldest months, July and August are the warmest months. The wind may bring winter cold in spring or summer. Sometimes it brings whirlwinds or hurricanes. Droughts are rare.

So, we may say that the British climate has three main features: it is mild, humid and changeable. That means that it is never too hot or too cold. Winters are extremely mild. Snow may come but it melts quickly. This humid and mild climate is good for plants. Trees and flowers begin to blossom early in spring.

Text 3. The Weather in England (A)

The weather in England is very changeable. A fine morning can change into a wet afternoon and evening. And a nasty morning can change into a fine afternoon. That is why it is natural for the English to use the comparison as changeable as the weather of a person who often changes his mood or opinion about something. Other countries have a climate, in England we have weather. This statement is often made by the English , to describe the meteorological conditions of their country.

The English also say that they have three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon or when it rains all day long.

The weather is the favourite conversational topic in England. When two Englishmen meet, their first words will be, «How are you?» And after the reply «Very well, thank you; how are you?» the next remark is almost certain to be about the weather. When they go abroad the English often surprise people of other nationalities by this tendency to talk about the weather, a topic of conversation that other people do not find so interesting.

The best time of the year in England is spring (of course, it rains in spring too). The two worst months in Britain are January and February. They are cold, damp and unpleasant. The best place in the world then is at home by the fire.

Summer months are rather cold and there can be a lot of rainy days. So most people, who look forward to summer holidays, plan to go abroad for the summer, to France or somewhere on the Continent.

The most unpleasant aspects of the weather in England are fog and smog.

Exercises

Read and translate the texts 1-3.

Answer the following questions:

What can you say about the climate of Britain?

What is the weather like in Great Britain?

What can you say when it rains heavily?

What is the average range of temperature?

What are the main features of the British climate?

What is the driest period?

What are the wettest months?

The weather in England is very changeable, isn´t it?

What comparison do the English use when they want to describe a person whose mood and opinion changes very often?

What statement is often made by the English to describe the meteorological conditions of their country?

How often does it rain in England?

The weather is the favourite conversational topic in England, isn´t it? Do you find this topic of conversation interesting?

What is the best time of the year in England?

What do you know about London fogs?

What kind of weather do you like the best of all?

Where do you get the weather forecast from? Do you always believe it?

Try to retell the texts.


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