The Necessary Vocabulary
(2) When engaging in a conversation
There are three fundamental things that may fall onto you, and these are rain, hail (=small pellets of ice) and snow. When any of these happens very violently and together with strong winds, we call it a storm.
If it rains heavily during a storm, it's a rainstorm.
If it hails heavily during a storm, it's a hailstorm.
If it snows heavily during a storm, it's a blizzard.
To hailalso means to greet someone enthusiastically (=with enthusiasm):
'The crowd hailed the Queen with joy'
or to attract attention by shouting or gesturing (=making gestures, motions of one's body to express an idea or emotion)
'Fiona hailed a taxi'.
A Blizzard, in turn, rhymes with a lizard, a general term for some of the reptiles (=animals like snakes, turtles or crocodiles), eg. iguanas or chameleons.
Still, lizards don't like blizzards very much and don't get any of them where they live.
Here's a simple conversation you might want to practice:
'Oh, it's quite warm today!' =it's neither hot nor cold, but rather hot than cold.
'Really? I find it rather chilly' =I think it's rather cold than hot.
'At least it's not freezing cold, like yesterday' =it's not extremely cold.
'Still, it's hardly boiling hot!' =it is not extremely hot, either.
When during a storm you see a sudden flash of light in the sky, you see a lightning and the storm is a thunderstorm. This is caused by a flow of electrically charged particles (=tiny portions of matter possessing an electric charge) either between clouds or between a cloud and the earth. A lightning is usually accompanied by (=usually appears in the company of, together with) a thunder (=a loud booming noise). However, we hear the thunder after we see the lightning as sound propagates in (=travels through) the air at a lower speed than light.
What does a lightning do? Itstrikes:
'This tree has been stricken by a lightning during a recent thunderstorm '
That is precisely the reason for the construction a bolt from the blue.
'His decision was a bolt from the blue' =his decision was sudden, unexpected, and probably unwelcome.
How to describea heavy rainfall? The below might give you some inspiration:
'Yesterday it rained so heavily I was soaking wet when I came back home.'
'I really love those torrential rains you get in this country.'
'It rained cats and dogs all day yesterday.'
The last one is idiomatic and hence the sentence has nothing to do with the animals mentioned.
It is also well worth to remember that a shower is just as much a type of bath as it is a brief (=short) period of rain, hail or snow:
'I'll go and take a shower.' =I'll wash myself
'There might be showers in the afternoon.' =it might be raining then.