Are ”there’s a storm coming” and ”there’s a storm approaching” a synonym of ”there’s a storm brewing”?

If they are, which one sounds more natural and you use frequently?

  • All three are idiomatic and in quite common usage—and mean the same thing. Which you choose probably depends on how dramatic you want to be. For the most dramatic effect, I'd choose brewing, but that is just one person's opinion. Use what you feel comfortable with.
    – Robusto
    Apr 7 '20 at 21:38
  • Thank you!!!!!! Apr 7 '20 at 21:50
  • Brewing, as in "see what the weather is brewing up for the weekend" sounds more like a a warning or alert.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 7 '20 at 22:29
  • 2
    Some people use "storm brewing" to imply that the storm has not yet fully formed anywhere, but will soon be here. Both "coming" and "approaching" suggest that the storm already exists, and its path will bring it here. Apr 7 '20 at 22:30
  • 1
    Coming and approaching mean the same thing. Brewing, however, is a cooking metaphor, and does not refer to motion toward the speaker like come and approach do. Apr 7 '20 at 22:46

All the phrases (preferable 1st and 2nd) can be interchanged for colloquial usage, yet there are subtle differences.

  1. A storm coming means it is right about the happen. On your doorstep.
  2. A storm approaching to an extent can be understood as less urgent.
  3. A storm brewing implies it has not yet acquired its shape/intensity.

All of them are natural depending on the context. I am more of a laid back person so I prefer "a storm coming" (when I finally take note of it).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.