Weather Phobias

Powerful weather phenomena are fascinating to watch, yet terrifying because of the destruction they leave behind. The fierceness of tornadoes and hurricanes leave one speechless and amazed. The beauty of lightning fills one with admiration for the hand that guides this streak of electricity to its destination. Each accompanying boom of thunder reminds us of the One in control of it all.

snow, picture by Lisa Binion

snow, picture by Lisa Binion

Then there are the calming weather phenomena. The gentle rains that water the earth, the snow that blankets the ground, the cooling breezes, and the clouds that form pictures for those with an imagination.

Anemophobia is the fear of air, wind, or air drafts. Those with this phobia fear that wind has the ability to blow away their personal identity and belongings.  Someone with this phobia would find even a gentle breeze blowing across their skin a source of terror.  Would someone with this phobia stay inside their house at all times?

Chionophobia is the fear of snow. Some people with this phobia simply hate snow of any kind and amount. Others fear being snowbound. I don’t like being snowbound, but those with chionopohobia fear it and won’t venture out in the snow at all for fear of being stranded. Even just a forecast of a terrible winter storm can cause panic and feelings of helplessness.

This past week, the massive snowstorm that enveloped the area I live in would have been terrifying for any person with chionophobia.  The 10-14 inches of snow that stayed in my yard and on my road for the entire week was not enjoyable, even though it was beautiful to look at.

ice storm, wikipedia

ice storm, wikipedia

Chionophobia could easily be accompanied by another fear: pagophobia. This intense fear of ice and frost is somewhat rational.  A slight fear of slipping and falling on ice is something I think any normal, cautious person would have.  Once always needs to be careful when ice is covering the ground, trees, power lines, and roadways.

Those with pagophobia take it a bit further though.  Some are afraid to venture outside the house when just frost is on the ground.

Lilapsophobia is the fear of tornadoes and/or hurricanes. Some fear of these fierce storms is perfectly natural when you consider the damage and destruction that they bring. Those afflicted with this phobia could possibly have lived through an extremely fierce hurricane or tornado. Think about the survivors of the damaging tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri. How have they been affected by this terrible weather phenomenon? For those who have survived such a catastrophe, even just a forecast of such an event occurring can bring on severe anxiety attacks.

dark clouds, www.wallconvert.com

dark clouds, www.wallconvert.com

Nephophobia is the fear of clouds. Hard to believe that a person could be afraid of the white, fluffy things in the sky, but remember, they aren’t always so innocent looking. When filled with rain, they grow dark and sinister looking. Just pictures of clouds have the ability to send into distress those afflicted with nephophobia.

Ombrophobia is defined as a persistent, irrational fear of rain. Has anyone ever told you that “you will catch your death” if you go out in the rain? Maybe you were told that going out in the rain would make you sick. Some people take these words to heart and become really depressed when it rains The majority of people don’t like being rained on, unless maybe they are coming out of a long, dry drought. But not liking being rained on and having a phobia of being rained on are two completely different things.

lightning, wikimedia commons

lightning, wikimedia commons

Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning. My indoor dog has astraphobia. Whenever she hears thunder, she heads straight for the bathroom and climbs in the tub. An outdoor dog I used to have definitely did not have this phobia. He would try to leap up and attack the flashes of light and the loud booms.

People who have this phobia may hide in the basement during a thunderstorm or seek shelter in an inside room, such as the bathroom. Attempts to block out the noise may be attempted by turning up the volume of the television or stereo. Closing the curtains or blinds may be done in an attempt to block out the brilliant flashes of light. Since a person with this fear would not want to get caught out in a thunderstorm, an astraphobiac may also be obsessed with checking the weather forecast.

girl writing, writinglives.org

How to Use Weather Phobias in Your Writing
Giving one or more of your characters a weather phobia can make your characters so much more entertaining.  It opens the door for nerve-racking, terrifying scenes if you like to write horror.  Or, if you prefer to write something lighter, hilarious scenes can be written when your characters are confronted by the very weather phenomenon they fear.

Look closely at the pictures I used to illustrate this article. The first picture was taken by me. My yard and road were blanketed by snow all week. What if your character is in a setting like this, something disastrous happens, and the character has to leave in a hurry?  Is it even possible?

The next picture shows a truck trapped behind some trees whose branches are loaded down with ice.  What if the person in this truck had been fleeing from a kidnapper?  Will the kidnapper find this person?  Or is the person now safe?

Dark clouds in the sky are in the next picture.  What if a person with nephophobia walked outside and saw the sky looking so ominous?  How would the person react?

On to the next picture of lightning. What is each bolt of lightning transported an alien to our planet? How long does it take for the presence of these aliens to be detected?  Are their intentions good or bad?

Do you have any writing prompts you would like to share? Please feel free to post them in the comments section.

Editor Recommended Article: Mysterious Hole in Snow Picture Writing Prompts

  2 comments for “Weather Phobias

  1. K.R. Morrison
    February 23, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Terrific post! I learned a lot from this.

    It’s not a weather thing–but dreams are a huge prompt for story ideas. Finding interesting info while you’re researching something else is pretty good too.

    • February 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      It is always fun to find interesting info. I haven’t done much research on dreams yet, but I have read several books where dreams are a huge part of what is going on. And dreams are a huge interest for me. My ability to remember what I dream each night almost completely disappeared after my near-fatal car wreck many, many years ago. Maybe some dream research is in my future. 🙂

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