There is an idiom for raining hard: It's raining cats and dogs. But is there an idiom for snowing hard?

  • You can just say blowing snow, blizzard or snowing heavily. Nov 30, 2016 at 7:16

4 Answers 4


If it is snowing so much one can not see beyond one's arm, it is called

a whiteout

  • Where did you find it? Nov 30, 2016 at 20:05
  • It's a well known phenomenon. Any arctic explorer or anyone where there is significant snowfall knows about it. The problem is because snow is white, it will scatter light, similar to being in fog, but even more so. It can be very deadly if caught up in a whiteout since there is no frame of reference, like walking with your eyes closed, but possibly worse since there is the expectation to "see" something when you can't. here
    – Peter
    Nov 30, 2016 at 20:36
  • Interesting... I think that's the word i was looking for. Too bad there is no idiom for snow. Dec 1, 2016 at 7:13
  • Maybe because English speakers have traditionally not lived in really snowy areas (G&T and Pimm's tend to freeze), the Eskimos have 28 different words for snow. The Norwegian list is here for snow and snow conditions.
    – Peter
    Dec 1, 2016 at 15:46
  • I wish somebody made up an idiom for snow. Dec 1, 2016 at 15:48

No, there is no equivalent idiom.

All day it was raining cats and dogs. That night it snowed heavily.

Snowfall intensity is rated by visibility (mild, moderate, heavy), and snowfall patterns can be described with words like "flurries," or "a blizzard."

Fallen snow can metaphorically become a blanket or be blanketing objects or the landscape: "A thick blanket of snow covered the forest." In general this is fallen snow on the ground, not snowfall in the air -- although fog can also "blanket", and a weatherman / meteorologist can describe snowfall blanketing a geographic region.

  • I wouldn't say that intensity is rated only by visibility. What about velocity and size of snow flakes? Nov 30, 2016 at 13:09
  • How about @Peter's answer, whiteout?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 23, 2020 at 12:02
  • Whiteout is not an idiom -- it is a single word, and an idiom cannot be one word. An idiom is a group of words that must be understood as a whole -- "raining cats and dogs" isn't about cats, or dogs. Also, whiteout is used as a noun, not an adverb ("hard"). You do not say "it snowed whiteout" or "it was very whiteout." That is incorrect. Instead, say "There was a whiteout." So whiteout is not an idiom like "raining cats and dogs", it is a noun like "blizzard" -- although it is relevant to snow! Mar 25, 2020 at 21:26

snow doesn't seem to be a weather condition that has many idioms associated with it, compared to, say, rain.

The most recognisable terms I can think of to describe 'snowing hard' are

  • "There is a heavy snowfall today"
  • "It is snowing heavily"

...or variations thereof.


It's snowing like a banshee
It's snowing like old man winter has a bad case of dandruff

  • 5
    Can you edit your answer to provide references for these sayings?
    – CJ Dennis
    Mar 19, 2020 at 22:12

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