Unit 13: Seasons- Daily English 809 – A Weather Forecast

Unit 13: Seasons- Daily English 809 – A Weather Forecast

Source: English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

Daily English 809 – A Weather Forecast

Dialogue/Story

Slow Speed begins at: 1:34

Explanation begins at: 3:07

Normal Speed begins at: 14:13

 

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 809: A Weather Forecast.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 809. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California – home of Hollywood, home of the stars, home of ESL Podcast, of course.

If you would like to really improve your English, I suggest you become a member of ESL Podcast and download one of our Learning Guides. The Learning Guides contain a complete transcript of everything we say – and by “we,” I mean “I” say on this episode, as well as lots of other things to help you improve your English. Got to eslpod.com and take a look.

This episode is a dialogue between Colleen and Jerry about predicting the weather. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Colleen: Shh! I want to hear the weather forecast for this week.

Jerry: What’s so important about this week?

Colleen: Shh!

Radio Announcer: Tomorrow, this warm front will move out and a cold front will move in, bringing with it windyconditions with a chance of thunderstorms.

Colleen: Yeah!

Radio Announcer: On Tuesday, things will clear up in the morning and we’ll have sunny skies…

Colleen: Uh!

Radio Announcer: But it will be chilly in the afternoon and the skies will be overcast. There’ll be a chance of precipitation in the evening, with very high levels of humidity.

Colleen: Yeah!

Radio Announcer: On Friday, the temperature will drop sharply and we’ll be lucky if we reach 20 degrees.

Colleen: Oh, yeah!

Jerry: What was all that about?

Colleen: If the weather is nice this weekend, my in-laws plan to drive up to spend a few days at our house.

Jerry: [laughs] Oh, I see.

Category: Nature + Weather

[end of dialogue]

Colleen and Jerry are listening to the radio. Colleen says to Jerry, “Shh!” This is when you want someone to be quiet, of course. You go “Shh!” “I want to hear the weather forecast for this week.” The “weather forecast” is a prediction about what the weather will be like tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the day after that, the entire week, usually for (maybe) five to seven days in advance.

Jerry says, “What’s so important about this week?” But Colleen doesn’t answer him. She just says, “Shh, ” telling him to be quiet, to stop talking. My wife does that to me a lot, too. Maybe I’m talking too much – no, no, it can’t be possible.

The radio announcer says, “Tomorrow, this warm front will move out and a cold front will move in.” A warm “front” (front) is a large area of warm air that moves toward another area with cold air. So, when we’re talking about the weather, a warm front would bring warmer temperatures to where you are living. A cold front is the opposite. A cold front is a large amount of cold air that moves into a certain area or place. The radio announcer says that the cold front is “moving in.” In other words, that’s what’s coming in the future. The warm front is “moving out” – it’s going away. This means the temperatures will be colder. It also means, the radio announcer says, that there will be windy conditions with a chance of thunderstorms. “Windy” (windy) is when the air moves very quickly, when the air moves at very high speeds. “Thunderstorms” is a weather event where there are lots of dark clouds and rain and lightning (which are flashes of light) in the sky and thunder. “Thunder” is that low noise that you hear after you see the lightning – that’s a thunderstorm. Where I grew up in Minnesota, there are lots of thunderstorms in the summertime. In fact, I was back visiting not too long ago and there was a thunderstorm the first day I came. Maybe they were trying to tell something, like I shouldn’t go back to Minnesota to visit? I don’t know.

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English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

Colleen, after hearing the radio announcer’s forecast, says, “Yeah!” She’s happy, which is kind of strange that you’re happy if there’s going to be thunderstorms. The radio announcer continues, “On Tuesday, things will clear up in the morning and we’ll have sunny skies.” To “clear up” is a two-word phrasal verb that here means for the clouds to go away. So, instead of having clouds in the sky, it becomes sunny. Normally that would be a good thing. Sunny is when you have lots of sunshine, when you can see the sun.

But Colleen says, “Uh!” She seems disappointed at this news, again, a little strange. The radio announcer continues, “But it will be chilly in the afternoon and the skies will be overcast. “Chilly” (chilly) is an adjective meaning cool or cold, not warm. “It’s a little chilly outside” usually means it’s not cold. It’s not so cold you’re going to freeze, but you might need a jacket or a sweater, something to keep you warm. “Chile” (Chile) is – well, it’s a country in South America, and “chili” (chili) is a food that you can eat. You can eat chilly chili in Chile. We used to say stuff like that when we were kids, same pronunciation, three different spellings. Isn’t English wonderful?

The radio announcer continues that the skies will be overcast. “Overcast” (overcast) means there are lots of clouds in the sky, usually gray clouds. It’s not sunny. It’s not thunderstorms. It’s not raining usually, but when we say it’s overcast, we mean it’s cloudy. There isn’t a lot of sunshine. The announcer says, “There’ll be a chance of precipitation in the evening with very high levels of humidity.” “Precipitation” is just another word for liquid coming from the sky, either rain or snow or some sort of liquid that is falling out of the clouds. That’s precipitation. In the United States, when you are listening to a weather forecast, they may talk about how much precipitation there was and that will be measured in inches. So, they might say, “We had an inch of rain last night.” That means that if you put a little glass outside and you let the water fall in it, there would have been one, approximately one inch of water that would have fallen. That’s how we measure precipitation in English – well, in the United States we use inches, of course.

The announcer also says there’s going to be high levels or a lot of humidity. “Humidity” (humidity) is a way of measuring the water that’s in the air before it comes to the ground. It’s really an expression of what we call “water vapor” in the air. If it’s very humid out, for example you’re in Florida in the summertime or in the Caribbean or by the ocean and it’s very hot, there’s often a lot of humidity. It feels like there’s water in the air even when it’s not raining. Colleen is happy with the forecast of precipitation and high humidity.

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English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

The radio announcer then continues, “On Friday, the temperature will drop sharply and we’ll be lucky if we reach 20 degrees.” The “temperature,” of course, is a measurement of how hot or cold something is. In the United States, we use the Fahrenheit scale. In most other places in the world, the Celsius scale is used. When we say something will “drop,” we mean it will decrease. “Sharply” means suddenly and dramatically – a long way. When we say the “temperature will drop sharply,” we mean maybe 50 degrees this morning and then this afternoon it will be only 30 degrees or 20 degrees. That would be to drop sharply. Sharply has a couple of other meanings in English; take a look at our Learning Guide for those. The announcer says, “We’ll be lucky if we reach 20 degrees.” “To reach” means for the temperature to get up to a certain point, in this case 20 degrees. Degrees, of course, is the way that we measure, the unit that we measure and express temperature, both in Fahrenheit and Celsius. Colleen again is happy. She says, “Oh, yeah!”

Jerry says, “What was all that about?” Why were you getting happy, basically, when the weather was going to be bad or the forecast said it was going to be bad? Colleen says, “If the weather is nice this weekend, my in-laws plan to drive up to spend a few days at our house.” My “in-laws” are either your father-in-law or your mother-in-law, usually both of them. They’re the father and mother of your husband or your wife, the parents of your spouse. So, if you’re married, you have in-laws. You have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law. I have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law. My wife has a father-in-law and a mother-in-law. Those are my parents. And of course, my in-laws are her parents. I can make a lot of joke about in-laws at this point, but I won’t.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed. [start of dialogue]
Colleen: Shh! I want to hear the weather forecast for this week. Jerry: What’s so important about this week?

Colleen: Shh!

Radio Announcer: Tomorrow, this warm front will move out and a cold front will move in, bringing with it windy conditions with a chance of thunderstorms.

Colleen: Yeah!

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These materials are copyrighted by the Center for Educational Development (2012). Posting of these materials on another website or distributing them in any way is prohibited.

English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

Radio Announcer: On Tuesday, things will clear up in the morning and we’ll have sunny skies…

Colleen: Uh!

Radio Announcer: But it will be chilly in the afternoon and the skies will be overcast. There’ll be a chance of precipitation in the evening, with very high levels of humidity.

Colleen: Yeah!

Radio Announcer: On Friday, the temperature will drop sharply and we’ll be lucky if we reach 20 degrees.

Colleen: Oh, yeah!
Jerry: What was all that about?

Colleen: If the weather is nice this weekend, my in-laws plan to drive up to spend a few days at our house.

Jerry: [laughs] Oh, I see. [end of dialogue]

From sunny Southern California, we have our wonderful scriptwriter to thank for our wonderful scripts. Thank you, Dr. Lucy Tse!

From sunny Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2012 by the Center for Educational Development.

GLOSSARY

weather forecast – a prediction of what the weather will be like in the future based on current information
* According to the weather forecast, it might snow this weekend, so pack your boots.

warm front – a large area of warm air that is moving toward an area with cooler air
* It is common to see warm fronts coming from the south this time of year.

cold front – a large area of cold air that is moving toward an area with warmer air
* Meteorologists can study the movements of cold fronts to predict when and where there will be storms.

windy – with air moving quickly; with the wind moving at high speeds * The kids like to fly their kites on windy afternoons.

thunderstorm – a weather event with a lot of dark clouds, rain, lightening (flashes of light in the sky) and thunder (the noise made when lightning is present)
* The thunderstorm was so loud that we couldn’t sleep last night.

to clear up – for clouds to go away so that one can see blue sky * If it clears up later today, we’ll go to the park.

sunny – with a lot of sunshine; with very few clouds so that one can see blue sky and the sun
* It’s really important to use sunscreen on a sunny day.

chilly – cool; cold; not warm
* It’s chilly outside, so you might want to put on a hat and a jacket.

overcast – with many clouds creating grey skies; with little or no sunshine * On dark, overcast days like today, it’s really hard to get out of bed in the morning.

precipitation – liquid falling from the sky; rain, hail, sleet, or snow
* On average, how many inches of precipitation does that part of the country get each year?

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These materials are copyrighted by the Center for Educational Development (2012). Posting of these materials on another website or distributing them in any way is prohibited.

English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

humidity – a measurement of the amount of moisture in the air; a way to express how much water vapor is in the air
* In places with high humidity, like Washington, DC, hot temperatures always feel even hotter than they really are.

temperature – a measurement of how cold or hot something is, expressed in Celsius (C), Fahrenheit (F), or Kelvin (K)
* Normally, the human body has a temperature of 98.6 °F.

sharply – suddenly and dramatically
* The stock market reacted sharply to the company’s announcement.

degree – the unit used to measure and express temperatures, where water freezes at 0 °C and 32 °F.
* Selena likes to keep her house at 70 °F.

in-law – the father or mother of one’s husband or wife; the parent of one’s spouse (husband or wife)
* After they get married, they’re going to live in Clarke’s in-laws’ home until they can save enough money to buy their own house.

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These materials are copyrighted by the Center for Educational Development (2012). Posting of these materials on another website or distributing them in any way is prohibited.

English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

  1. What kind of weather is Colleen hoping for? a) Warm, sunny weather.
b) Unpleasant, cold weather.
c) Snowy, stormy weather.
  2. Who might spend a few days at Colleen’s home? a) Her lawyer.
b) Her law school students.
c) Her husband’s parents.

______________

WHAT ELSE DOES IT MEAN?

to clear up

The phrase “to clear up,” in this podcast, means for clouds to go away so that one can see blue sky: “I hope it clears up before Harriet’s birthday party at the park.” The phrase “to clear up” can also mean to bring clarity, or to reduce or eliminate confusion: “Let’s sit down and have a calm conversation so we can clear up this misunderstanding.” The phrase “to clear up” might also mean for someone’s skin to become cleaner and smoother, without acne or pimples: “Many teenagers have acne, but it usually clears up by the time they turn 20.” Finally, the phrase “clear up/down” can emphasize a long distance northward or southward: “They live clear up by the river, north of the mountains.”

sharply

In this podcast, the word “sharply” means suddenly and dramatically: “Sales increased sharply after the news story about our products.” Or, “The driver turned sharply to avoid hitting the little girl who ran into the street.” When people speak “sharply,” they speak in a harsh, mean, or critical way: “Try not to speak to your children so sharply.” Someone who is “sharp-tongued” is someone who says mean or harsh things, especially to criticize or insult other people: “Freddie can by very sharp-tongued, but try not to pay attention to what he says.” Finally, someone who is “sharp-witted” is able to think and react quickly, giving clever and intelligent responses: “Conversations between two sharp-witted people can be very entertaining.”

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These materials are copyrighted by the Center for Educational Development (2012). Posting of these materials on another website or distributing them in any way is prohibited.

English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 809 – A Weather Forecast

CULTURE NOTE

TV Weather Forecasters

A “TV weather forecaster” or “weather reporter” is someone whose job is to present the weather forecast during a TV news program. Some weather forecasters have training in “meteorology” (the study of the atmosphere, temperature, climate, weather, etc.), but others do not. They normally stand in front of a “green screen” (a large, green piece of fabric or canvas) that, in the final version of the “footage” (the video shown on TV) displays a map with moving clouds, warm and cold fronts, and precipitation.

During “extreme” (unusual) weather events, weather reporters sometimes report “on the scene” (where something is happening) “rather than” (instead of) in the “studio” (the building where news reports are recorded). For example, a weather reporter might be filmed reporting on a storm while trees are “swaying” (moving back and forth) in heavy wind or while rain is “pelting” (hitting very hard) the buildings and people.

Most TV weather forecasters work for local TV stations, so they also serve as community reporters and sometimes present “feature” (special; highlighted) stories. They might report “live” (shown on TV as something is recorded) from community events, like an opening of a new business or a meeting with the mayor. They might also report on “school closures,” explaining which schools will be opening late or not at all on a particular day “due to” (because of) “inclement weather” (bad, dangerous, or uncomfortable weather).

Sometimes weather forecasters even “mention” (say; state) the birthdays of local children, celebrities, or officials when they are “on air” (being shown on TV). This normally happens in very small towns and “close” (with strong interpersonal relationships) communities.

______________

Comprehension Questions Correct Answers: 1 – b; 2 – c

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