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When you're writing a diary, you might start with "It's sunny today" or "It's cloudy today." When it comes to rain, which should it be?

It's rainy today.
It's raining today.

It may be raining at the very moment when you wrote down the words "It's raining today," but not necessarily the whole day. So which one is more proper in this case?

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3 Answers 3

I wanted to add one difference between the two phrases that I think has not been covered.

It's raining today.

Raining is a verb, describing the action of rain.

It's rainy today.

Rainy is an adjective, describing what the weather is like today.

Sunny and cloudy are also adjectives that describe the weather, so for parallelism, it makes sense to say "It's rainy today" if you would otherwise write "It's sunny today."

Compare this with "It's raining today" and "The sun is shining today." (Since we can't say "It's sunning today.")

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The meanings are as expected

  • It is raining today can mean that it is raining now and it implies that you expect more of it and it can imply that it had been raining previously in the day - expresses general weather condition (it can be used to express future)

  • It is rainy today means that it had been raining or that you expect it to rain; probably it is also raining at the time of writing - expresses general weather condition

  • It is raining now means that it is raining right now and might continue or might not

Regarding the diary or journal specifically, you might consider also to express it as past

  • It was raining the whole day is pretty clear
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I think "rainy" also implies that it might be raining off and on throughout the day. –  KitFox Jun 30 '11 at 12:15
    
@Kit, yes, that was my feeling too, but when I checked dictionary, I found: "a rainy day is one on which it rains a lot", so I didn't want to dilute the answer (and after thinking about it I think it could imply either, depending on context and how you say it) –  Unreason Jun 30 '11 at 12:25
    
You might add a note about an alternate way to say the first option would be "It's a rainy day today." I think your examples are correct, but that particular phrase doesn't seem to be getting mentioned anywhere. –  Caleb Jun 30 '11 at 12:52
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@Caleb, I take "It's a rainy day today" almost identical to "It is rainy today" (as today is implied, btw - today etymologically came from "on the day") and I hoped I showed how the two phrases "It is raining ..." and "It is rainy ..." are as well almost identical. –  Unreason Jun 30 '11 at 13:00
    
@Unreason: Yes it's almost identical, it's just a tad more natural and I hear it more. And yes, I think your explanations were fine. –  Caleb Jun 30 '11 at 13:03
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The better form would be to say either "It's raining [now]" or "It's rainy today", depending on what you want to say.

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Like I posted there, in the diary to describe the day's weather. Same as "It's sunny/cloudy/windy or whatsoever today". –  Daisy Jun 30 '11 at 7:44
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