The Most Common Weather-Related Phobias

Sometimes the weather outside really IS frightful! Which events make your heart race? See the list of 5 common weather fears ... if you dare!

There’s a reason why ghost stories begin with “It was a dark and stormy night …” Gloomy weather can be spooky, and sometimes Mother Nature can throw some very scary storms our way. According to a recent study, at least 1 in 10 Americans suffer from some type of weather fear. But what kind of weather spooks us the most? 

We did some digging and came up with a list of the five most common weather-related phobias:

1. Astraphobia—Fear of Thunder & Lightning

Astraphobia ranks among the top fears humans experience (although pets can have astraphobia too!). Scientists estimate as many as 2-3% of Americans are afraid of thunderstorms – that’s roughly the same number of people who are claustrophobic (afraid of small spaces).

2. Lilapsophobia—Fear of Tornadoes & Hurricanes

woman afraid of the swirling tornado behind her

A number of people who are afraid of thunderstorms are deathly afraid of them and of the severe storms (tornadoes and hurricanes) thunderstorms can grow into.

3. Ancraophobia—Fear of Wind

Some people who are afraid of storms aren’t really afraid of the storm itself, they’re afraid of certain weather conditions the storm brings. This is true of ancraophobes – people who fear winds. To them, wind’s destructive power, namely its ability to down trees and power lines, cause structural damage to homes, and carry debris and loose objects airborne are what triggers stress and anxiety. Some sufferers even fear wind’s ability to “cut off” or take away their breath.

4. Chionophobia—Fear of Snow

Chionophobia may not sound like a popular phobia, but if you dread the winter season’s cold and snow (like many do!), it’s possible you suffer from it without even realizing it. You don’t necessarily have to be afraid of snowflakes, you could simply fear the dangers snowy weather can bring, such as slick roads and walkways, hazardous driving, not being able to see in whiteout conditions, and being trapped by or stranded in the snow.

5. Ombrophobia—Fear of Rain

Ombrophobia makes the list largely because it can be linked back to astraphobia. Those who fear rain, especially children, tend to do so because they take heavy downpours as a sign that thunderstorms may be near.

Surprisingly, weather doesn’t have to be severe to raise stress levels or heart rates. Even “ordinary” weather can be a nightmare for folks who suffer from the following (real) phobias:

  • Nephophobia (the fear of clouds)
  • Homichlophobia (the fear of fog)
  • Cryophobia (the fear of frost or cold days)
  • Thermophobia (the fear of warm days)
  • Heliophobia (fear of the Sun)

While a healthy fear of severe weather will help keep you safe, true phobias can be debilitating. If you think you suffer from a weather phobia that keeps you from going outside, or if you experience severe physical symptoms, you may want to talk with your doctor and seek help to work through them.

What weather do you fear or dread the most? Tell us in the comments below.

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Tiffany Means

Tiffany Means is a freelance writer and a degreed meteorologist. She specializes in weather forecasting and enjoys making the subject of weather (and the science behind it) more relatable. She currently resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

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I have a little bit of lilapsophobia. I’ve always wanted to be a storm chaser. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see a tornado from a distance or be in a hurricane and learn what it’s like in there. You would still get a break from it when the eye of the storm comes, so, overall I’m not very afraid of weather. I live in a steel frame house that can withstand ~150mph winds or up to an EF-3 Tornado or Catogory 4 hurricane. I’m fine in this house. Right? I’m an 11-year-old btw


I fear global warming. It seems to me that what it means to our future existence is reported on in frightful ways.


Until last year (41) I loved storms. Well, I loved the rain and rolling thunder. I’ve always been afraid of lightening. I won’t touch water if it’s lightening. Anywho, last year I became afraid of thunder. I don’t know how it happened. But I want my love for it to come back.


I am physically sick with the onset of powerful gales , have been for 80 or so years , it seems to have been caused by the sound of the wind in the roof which is similar to the rumble of bombs during the blitz .
Also , a late development , when slid into an MRI scanner the panic of being closed in is bad enough for the medics to give me an injection of tranquiliser


The only weather that concerns or scares me would be tornadoes. A watch seems to be the bigger problem for me because they are issued so far in advance and I have too much time to worry about it If there is a warning in my area, I’m busy taking shelter so the fear turns into adrenaline.


i fear hurricanes the most because having been through 3 of the worst during my lifetime, there is nothing worse! it combines rain, wind, darkness and awesome destructive power – i hid in my closet for Gloria in my twenties. *and fear became more severe later in life……i’m petrified at the mere thought of a hurricane!


I grew up in a “shack,” and was terrified of bad storms, especially tornadoes, as a child and a young adult. After marriage, as a mom, I would become frantic about getting my three small sons to the basement, wearing motorcycle helmets and hiding under the stairs . . .all this even if the tornado warning was two states away! Then, I had the idea of putting a map on the kitchen wall, and my boys and I would keep track of where the storms were, where they were headed, how fast they were traveling. When storms would move into our area, ( don’t laugh ), we would put Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” on the stereo, and turn it up loud! We learned to enjoy our ritual, and only went to the basement when our area was under a warning. We also learned that most storms didn’t amount to anything fearful.

Lou J Apa

Chionophobia (fear of snow): That’s me, I do fear it; however, now that I am a 72 year and dislike it’s affect on my ability to travel safely! I grew up in the NYCity metro area and experienced more than my share of snow and now that I live in the Raleigh, NC metro area, I don’t want any more of snow!! I do; however, LOVE the SNOW song from the movie White Christmas:….► 1:55

Lou J Apa

Chionophobia (fear of snow): That’s me, I do fear it; however, now that I am a 72 year and dislike it’s affect on my ability to travel safely! I grew up in the NYCity metro area and experienced more than my share of snow and now that I live in the Raleigh, NC metro area, I don’t want any more of snow!!


so these are a fears of weather but here are my fears: ok lets start
okay so my first fear is my little sister. shes scary and ugly plus shes a brat. that is all,thanks for your time.

Susan Higgins

Oh No! Sierra! Who will you go trick-or-treating with???

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