WEATHER is an important element in any setting, providing sensory texture and contributing to the mood the writer wishes to create in a scene. With a deft touch, weather can enhance the character's emotional response to a specific location, it can add conflict, and it can also (lightly) foreshadow coming events.
However, caution must accompany this entry: the weather should not be used as a window into a character's soul. The weather can add invisible pressure for the character, it can layer the SCENE with symbolism, it can carefully hint at the internal landscape, but it must never OVERTLY TELL emotion. Such a heavy-handed approach results in weather cliches and melodrama (a storm raging above a bloody battle, a broken-hearted girl crying in the rain).
Sight: leaves lightly fluttering, branches blowing, treetops bent sideways, brasses blowing, clouds drifting or racing across the sky, leaves and flowers tearing loose, debris rolling along the ground, hair and clothing whipping around, people being pushed off balance, waves being churned up, sand/dirt/snow blowing
Smell: rain, smoke
Taste: dirt, rain, sand
Touch: whipping hair stinging your face, clothes flapping around your legs and arms, chapped lips and dry skin, quick-blinking eyes to keep out debris, a loss of equilibrium as the wind buffets you off-balance, increased heat or cold depending on the temperature of the wind, the comfort of a cool breeze on a hot day, wind-blown sand stinging your skin, humidity
Sound: howling/moaning/sighing, branches tapping against walls and windows, leaves rubbing together, twigs and leaves skittering along the ground
Mood: Light breezes are often soothing, particularly on a hot day when they offer a break from the heat. The danger of high winds can trigger anxiety as we wonder how bad the weather's going to get and if it will affect our homes or loved ones. Even a lack of wind can produce a feeling of stillness and either a positive or negative anticipation--waiting, as if for something to happen.
Symbolism: Rising winds can symbolize a coming change in the form of something good (rain after a drought) or something bad (a hailstorm in farm country). High winds can represent destruction or approaching danger. Certain breezes can also provide a temporal clue and put the reader in a seasonal frame of mind: light and airy breezes remind us of the rebirth of spring; rising winds accompanied by rain, thunder and lightning, and storms bring the extremes of summer and its changeability to mind; gusty, leaf-twirling winds make us think of crisp fall and the promise of cooler weather and happy times ahead.
Possible Cliches: characters who argue in high winds despite the danger, yelling to be heard; branches tearing off and crashing to the ground right where the character is standing (how often does this really happen??), something tearing loose (a leaf, a piece of paper) and blowing away to represent loss, the windmill as a symbol for adversaries
Don't be afraid to use the weather to add contrast. Unusual pairings, especially when drawing attention to the character's emotions, is a powerful trigger for tension. Consider how the bleak mood of a character is even more noticeable as morning sunlight dances across the crystals of fresh snow on the walk to work. Or how the feeling of betrayal is so much more poignant on a hot summer day. Likewise, success or joy can be hampered by a cutting wind or drizzling sleet, foreshadowing conflict to come.