Small talk: the sweltering summer

Since the weather has been in the news headlines for the past few weeks, let’s have a closer look at how you can describe the weather we’ve been having if you need to make small talk with a business partner.

It’s been a sweltering summer. The heat waves have caused a severe drought: crops, trees, and other plants are dying due to lack of water. The record-high temperatures have been scorching. Some places have seen torrential rains and violent thunderstorms.

The low water level in the Elbe River has caused the passenger ferries to stop operating. The steamboats are operating with modified routes and schedules. For Dresden and most of Saxony, the forestry authority in Saxony has issued the highest forest fire warning possible, level 5.

Everyone is hoping for rain and some relief from the heat, but this summer may become the hottest, driest summer on record.

Remember, the weather is often used in professional situations to break the ice or to start a conversation. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already met or worked with a business partner, or if you’re meeting in person or talking on the phone — the weather is a shared human experience and always a relevant topic.

(Grammar check!  Read the text above. The summer is still in progress, so we’ve used the present perfect and present perfect continuous above to describe the situation.)

Mindy Ehrhart Krull
About the author

Originally from the US, Mindy Ehrhart Krull holds a master's degree in journalism and has been teaching English and working as an author, editor and proofreader in Germany since 2008.

At DELS, she leads a team of several English trainers and language professionals.

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