1. We shall start tomorrow, if the weather permits.
  2. We shall start tomorrow, weather permitting.

Both sentences are equal. Rather, I think We shall start tomorrow, the weather permitting.

In the second sentence, why has 'the' been omitted?

  • 2
    The set phrase "weather permitting" is an absolute construction meaning if the weather permits. – Vic Sep 6 '14 at 18:49
  • Weather refers to the state of atmosphere, and is not ambiguous as other nouns such as "writer" or "reader" might be, in which case they can refer to different subjects. As such, omitting "the" does not deprive the sentence of clarity and it sounds fine. – Pockets Sep 6 '14 at 23:40

As you said, both sentences are equal; your

We shall start tomorrow, the weather permitting.

May be acceptable in certain locales, but at least it the western US it sounds odd. However, it is still easily understood.

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