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 change to yellow, orange, and red, and begin to fall. The fruit of many trees ripen and will also fall to the ground if not harvested. In some places, the grass begins to fade to brown. The rains lessen and the wind picks up, blowing fallen leaves over the roads and into drifts and ditches. Farmer's markets and roadside stands crop up with fresh fall produce: pumpkins, squash, apples, pears, corn. Football season is evident by the increased number of jerseys being worn and kids outside tossing the pigskin. Fall decorations make an appearance (scarecrows, hay bales, gourds, Indian corn, Halloween decor).
Smell: baking apples and pumpkin, cinnamon, crisp cool air, wood smoke
Taste: various apple and pumpkin baked goods (pies, muffins, cookies, etc.), candy corn
Touch: cool air (particularly at night), increased winds, chill bumps rising on the skin, the crunch of dead leaves underfoot, knobby pumpkins, scratchy hay bales
Sound: the sighing wind, branches scraping the house, leaves skittering over the road, geese honking as they fly overhead, an axe chopping firewood, a fire's crackle, the scrape of rakes piling up leaves
Mood: For many people, fall is a welcome break from the heat of summer and reminds them that change is coming. As such, fall can bring about a sense of optimism. With Halloween and Thanksgiving firmly entrenched in the autumn season, fall often puts people in an anticipatory mood, knowing that good family times are right around the corner.
Symbolism: the declining years of life, aging, abundance and gratitude, nature's bounty
Possible Cliches: ?
OTHER: When describing fall, remember your location. The descriptions here are the typical ones, but many locations don't see these changes. In south Florida, hardly any leaves change color, and it doesn't really get cool until October or November, when the weather bounces back and forth between pleasant and hot. In cold climates, fall may be shorter than the calendar's three months, with the weather charging right into winter. Wherever your story takes place, be sure to research your setting to keep the details true.
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.