144 top weather words in German to cook up a vocabulary storm

Marie Schmoll

From cozy drizzle rain to bright summer sunshine - The weather is fascinating, versatile and always there, which makes it the ideal conversation topic. More importantly, the repercussions of climate change make it absolutely necessary to talk about the weather in our times.

Once you know some basic weather phrases, you’ll always have a safe and easy way to practice the language. That’s why it’s a great starting point when you’re learning German.

Practice that for a while and once you’re more advanced, you can join more serious discussions.

On vacation in a German-speaking country, it’s also incredibly helpful to know some weather words and expressions in German. Understanding the German weather-forecast and learning how to talk about the weather in German will help you:

On vacation in a German speaking country, it’s incredibly helpful to know some weather words and expressions in German.

1. Plan your day

In Germany, the weather isn’t always peachy. So understanding the forecast is crucial to planning your stay. Use the sunny days for outdoor activities like hiking in the Black Forest or swimming in the Baltic Sea. For rainy days, consider visiting a museum like the famous Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

2. Dress appropriately

My Mama always says “Es gibt kein falsches Wetter, nur falsche Kleidung” (There’s no wrong weather, only wrong clothes). So make sure you check out the weather forecast, so you can pick your clothes accordingly. Our extensive German clothes guide will help you understand what’s what.

3. Start a conversation

There’s no easier topic to start a conversation than the weather. It’s such a popular small talk topic that it’s almost cliché.

There even is a weather-related German phrase that is jokingly used to fill an awkward silence: “Schönes Wetter heute” (Nice weather today).

How do you say “weather” in German?

If you’re wondering How to say “weather” in German, you’re in luck because it’s almost the same word as in English: Wetter. It’s pronounced just like the English “wetter”, just with a “v”-sound in the beginning (vetter).

In order to talk about the weather, it’s important to understand these terms:

  • Weather (Wetter) is the general term for the atmospheric conditions over a short period of time.
  • Climate (Klima) is how the weather behaves in a specific location over a longer period of time.
  • Temperature (Temperatur) is a physical quantity that measures a degree of heat. In Germany, temperatures are measured in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. 1°C is 33,8°F.
  • Precipitation (Niederschlag) is any water that has formed in the atmosphere and then fallen back to the Earth in some shape or form, including rain, snow, hail and sleet.

How to talk about the weather in German

Here are some common ways to start a conversation about the weather.

Woman takes her dog for a walk when it stops raining in German.

Questions:

Wie ist das Wetter bei dir?

How is the weather where you are?

Wie ist das Wetter heute?

How is the weather today?

Was wird heute die Höchsttemperatur?

What’s the temperature going to reach today?

Weißt du, ob es heute regnen soll?

Do you know if it’s supposed to rain today?

Wie ist das Klima da, wo du herkommst?

What’s the climate like where you’re from?

Magst du lieber wärmeres oder kälteres Wetter?

Do you prefer warmer or colder weather?

Was ist deine Lieblingsjahreszeit?

What’s your favorite season?

Answers:

As a response, you can talk about the weather including precipitation and temperatures or you can use subjective expressions. The weather has a direct influence on us so we often talk about it in terms of how it affects us.

Sieht so, als würden es heute Morgen nur 5 Grad werden.

It’s looking like it will be as cold as 5 degrees this morning.

Es ist sonnig, aber mit einer lauen Brise.

It’s sunny but with a cool breeze.

Wir kriegen heute schlechtes Wetter.

We’ll get bad weather today.

Heute soll es schönes Wetter geben!

Today it’s supposed to be nice weather!

Ich hoffe, das Wetter bleibt so gut.

I hope the weather stays this good.

List of weather terms in German

Weather-related sentences are usually very simple. You say “Es ist” (It is) and add a suitable adjective that describes the current weather conditions.

  • Es ist + sonnig: It is + sunny
  • Es ist + bewölkt: It is + overcast
  • Es ist + windig: It is + windy

You can also point out specific weather phenomena.

  • Schau, es regnet.: Look, it’s raining.
  • Guck dir mal den schönen Regenbogen an!: Look at that beautiful rainbow!
  • Hast du die Nordlichter gesehen?: Did you see the Northern Lights?

Everyday weather terms in German

Here is a list of everyday weather terms in German that will come in handy for simple descriptions of the weather and pointing out different weather phenomena.

Planning to visit Neuenstein Castle on a sunny day in German.

EnglishGermanIPA
SunnySonnig[ˈzɔnɪç]
CloudyWolkig[ˈvɔlkɪç]
WindyWindig[ˈvɪndɪç]
RainyRegnerisch[ˈʁeːɡnəʁɪʃ]
Rain-sweptVerregnet[fɛɐ̯ˈʁeːɡnət]
FoggyNeblig[ˈneːblɪç]
MistyDiesig[ˈdiːzɪç]
HazyTrüb[tʁyːp]
StormyStürmisch[ˈʃtʏʁmɪʃ]
MuggySchwül[ʃvyːl]
It’s sleetingEs gibt Schneeregen[ɛs ɡiːpt ˈʃneːˌʁeːɡn̩]
OvercastBedeckt; Bewölkt[bəˈdɛkt; bəˈvœlkt]
MurkyDüster[ˈdyːstɐ]
GloomyFinster[ˈfɪnstɐ]
PrecipitationDer Niederschlag[ˈniːdɐˌʃlaːk]
RainDer Regen[ˈʁeːɡn̩]
SnowDer Schnee[ʃneː]
HailDer Hagel[ˈhaːɡl̩]
WindDer Wind[vɪnt]
FogDer Nebel[ˈneːbl]
SunDie Sonne[ˈzɔnə]
SunshineDer Sonnenschein[ˈzɔnənˌʃaɪ̯n]
SunraysDie Sonnenstrahlen[ˈzɔnənˌʃtʁaːlən]
SunlightDas Sonnenlicht[ˈzɔnənlɪçt]
RainbowDer Regenbogen[ˈʁeːɡn̩ˌboːɡn̩]
Northern LightsDie Nordlichter[ˈnɔʁtˌlɪçtɐ]
It’s rainingEs regnet[ɛs ˈʁeːɡnət]
It’s drizzlingEs nieselt[ɛs ˈniːzlt]
It’s pouringEs gießt[ɛs ɡiːst]
It’s snowingEs schneit[ɛs ʃnaɪ̯t]
It’s hailingEs hagelt[ɛs ˈhaːɡl̩t]
The sun is shiningDie Sonne scheint[diː ˈzɔnə ʃaɪ̯nt]
It’s clearEs ist klar[ɛs ɪst klaːɐ̯]
It’s brightEs ist hell[ɛs ɪst hɛl]
There’s thunderEs donnert[ɛs ˈdɔnɐt]
There’s lightningEs blitzt[ɛs blɪt͡st]
Such lousy weather!So ein Mistwetter![zoː aɪ̯n ˈmɪstˌvɛtɐ]
The storm is over nowDer Sturm ist vorüber[de:ɐ̯ ʃtʊɐ̯m ɪst vo:ʁy:bɐ]
It stopped rainingEs hat aufgehört, zu regnen[ɛs hat ˈaʊ̯fɡəˌhøːɐ̯t tsu: ˈʁeːɡnən]
The sun was shining this morningDie Sonne hat heute Morgen geschienen[di: zɔnə hat hɔʏ̯tə mɔɐ̯gən gəʃi:nən]
Last summer, we had a lot of sunshineLetzten Sommer hatten wir viel Sonne[ˈlɛt͡stn̩ ˈzɔmɐ ˈhatn vi:ɐ̯ fi:l ˈzɔnə]

Understanding the weather forecast in German

You might be watching the weather forecast on German tv or, more likely, you forgot to check the weather and have to ask a German-speaker who knows more than you. These phrases will be handy to understand what the weather will be like.

Couple enjoy the weather in German.

EnglishGermanIPA
It might rain todayHeute regnet es vielleicht[ˈhɔɪ̯tə ˈʁeːɡnət ɛs fiˈlaɪ̯çt]
Today the weather is supposed to be niceHeute soll es schönes Wetter geben[ˈhɔɪ̯tə zɔl ɛs ˈʃøːnəs vɛtɐ ge:bən]
The sun is supposed to shine tomorrowDie Sonne soll morgen scheinen[di: ˈzɔnə zɔl mɔʁɡn̩ ˈʃaɪ̯nən]
A thunderstorm is coming upEin Gewitter zieht auf[aɪ̯n ɡəˈvɪtɐ tsi:t aʊ̯f]
A storm moves over this areaEin Sturm zieht über dieses Gebiet[aɪ̯n ʃtʊɐ̯m tsi:t ˈy:bɐ ˈdiːzəsgəbi:t]
I heard that it’s gonna get really hot later in the dayIch habe gehört, dass es später am Tag richtig heiß werden soll[ɪç ˈhaːbə: ɡəˈhøːɐ̯t das ɛs ˈʃpɛːtɐ am ta:k ˈʁɪçtɪç haɪ̯s ˈveːɐ̯dn̩ zɔl]
It looks like it’s gonna rainEs sieht aus, als würde es regnen[ɛs zi:t aʊ̯s als ˈvʏʁdə ɛs ˈʁeːɡnən]
It smells like it’s gonna snow soonEs riecht, als würde es bald schneien[ɛs zi:t aʊ̯s als ˈvʏʁdə ɛs ˈʃnaɪ̯ən]
It will be freezing tonightHeute Nacht gibt es Frost[hɔʏ̯tə naxt gi:pt ɛs fʁɔst]
Watch out tomorrow morning, we’re supposed to see black icePass morgen früh auf, es soll Glatteis geben[pas ˈmɔʁɡn̩ fʁy: aʊ̯f ɛs zɔl ˈɡlatˌʔaɪ̯s ge:bən]
The rain is supposed to stop at 5PMDer Regen soll um 17 Uhr aufhören[de:ɐ̯ ˈʁeːɡn̩ zɔl ʊm ˈziːptsen u:ɐ̯ ˈaʊ̯fˌhøːʁən]
I hope the weather stays this niceIch hoffe, das Wetter bleibt so schön[ɪç ˈhɔfə das ˈvɛtɐ blaɪ̯pt zo: ʃøːn]

Extreme weather terms in German

We have always witnessed extreme weather conditions and natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and droughts but in recent years, their drastic increase and its devastating effects on the planet have become undeniable.

In the last 30 years alone, climate-related disasters have tripled in numbers. Now, more than ever, it’s important to talk about these phenomena on a global level. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to talk about the weather in other languages. That way, we can all discuss the issue and take responsibility together.

EnglishGermanIPA
Natural disasterDie Naturkatastrophe[naˈtuːɐ̯katasˌtʁoːfə]
HurricaneDer Wirbelsturm[ˈvɪʁbl̩ˌʃtʊʁm]
CycloneDer Zyklon[tsyˈkloːn]
Cold frontDie Kaltfront[ˈkaltˌfʁɔnt]
Warm frontDie Warmfront[ˈvaʁmˌfʁɔnt]
FloodDie Flut[fluːt]
HeatwaveDie Hitzewelle[ˈhɪt͡səˌvɛlə]
DroughtDie Dürre[ˈdʏʁə]
Forest fireDer Waldbrand[ˈvaltˌbʁant]
WildfireDas Lauffeuer[ˈlaʊ̯fˌfɔɪ̯ɐ]
TyphoonDer Taifun[taɪ̯ˈfuːn]
StormDer Sturm[ʃtʊʁm]
ThunderstormDas Gewitter[ɡəˈvɪtɐ]
TornadoDer Tornado[tɔʁˈnaːdo]
DownpourDer Platzregen[ˈplatsʁeːɡn̩]
ThunderDer Donner[ˈdɔnɐ]
LightningDer Blitz[blɪt͡s]
BlizzardDer Schneesturm[ˈʃneːˌʃtʊʁm]
FrostDer Frost[fʁɔst]
Black iceDas Glatteis[ˈɡlatˌʔaɪ̯s]
EarthquakeDas Erdbeben[ˈeːɐ̯tˌbeːbn̩]
TsunamiDer Tsunami[tsuˈnaːmi]

Talking about the temperature in German

The key to learning how to say the temperature in German is to remember how to count in German.

Then you only need to convert the temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit in your head.

Luckily, Celsius makes a lot of sense: 0°C is the freezing point of water, while 100°C is the boiling point.

On a camping trip you will most certainly talk about the weather in German.

EnglishGermanIPA
It’s x degreesEs ist x Grad[ɛs ɪst x ɡʁaːt]
CelsiusCelsius[tsɛlzi̯ʊs]
FahrenheitFahrenheit[ˈfaːʁənhaɪ̯t]
It’s warmEs ist warm[ɛs ɪst vaʁm]
It’s hotEs ist heiß[ɛs ɪst haɪ̯s]
It’s coldEs ist kalt[ɛs ɪst kalt]
It’s chillyEs ist kühl[ɛs ɪst kyːl]
It’s freezing (there’s frost)Es friert[ɛs fʁiːɐ̯t]
It’s freezing coldEs ist eiskalt[ɛs ɪst aɪ̯skalt]
It’s wet outsideEs ist nass draußen[ɛs ɪst nas ˈdʁaʊ̯sn̩]
It’s nice outsideEs ist schön draußen[ɛs ɪst ʃøːn ˈdʁaʊ̯sn̩]
It’s humidEs ist feucht[ɛs ɪst fɔɪ̯çt]
It’s dryEs ist trocken[ɛs ɪst ˈtʁɔkn̩]
It’s very hotEs ist sehr heiß[ɛs ɪst zeːɐ̯ haɪ̯s]
Room temperatureZimmertemperatur[tsɪmɐtɛmpəʁaˌtuːɐ̯]

Other important weather terms in German

German has some big weather-related words that you can use to impress others when talking about the weather - from “Schneeballschlacht” to “Meeresoberflächentemperatur”.

The repercussions of climate change make it absolutely necessary to talk about the weather in German.

EnglishGermanIPA
Weather forecastDie Wettervoraussage[ˈvɛtɐfoːˌʁaʊ̯szaːɡə]
MeteorologyDie Meteorologie[meteoʁoloˈɡiː]
Bad weatherSchlechtes Wetter[ˈʃlɛçtəs ˈvɛtɐ]
Good weatherGutes Wetter[ˈɡuːtəs ˈvɛtɐ]
Extreme weather eventExtremes Wetterereignis[ɛksˈtʁeːməs ˈvɛtɐɛɐ̯ˈʔaɪ̯ɡnɪs]
Climate changeDer Klimawandel[klimavandl]
Global warmingDie Klimaerwärmung[ˈkliːmaʔɛɐ̯ˌvɛʁmʊŋ]
Sea surface temperatureDie Meeresoberflächentemperatur[ˈmeːʁəsˌʔoːbɐflɛçəntɛmpəraˈtʉːr]
Wind warningDie Sturmwarnung[ˈʃtʊʁmˌvaʁnʊŋ]
SquallDie Böe[ˈbøːə]
ShowerDer Regenschauer[ˈʁeːɡn̩ˌʃaʊ̯ɐ]
MonsoonDer Monsun[mɔnˈzuːn]
Snow FlurryDas Schneegestöber[ˈʃneːɡəˌʃtøːbɐ]
GustDer Windstoß[ˈvɪntˌʃtoːs]
PrecipitationDer Niederschlag[ˈniːdɐˌʃlaːk]
Atmospheric pressureDer Atmosphärendruck[atmoˈsfɛːʁəndʁʊk]
TroughDas Tief[tiːf]
RidgeDas Hoch[hoːx]
WhirlwindDer Wirbelwind[ˈvɪʁbl̩vɪnt]
Wind directionDie Windrichtung[ˈvɪntˌʁɪçtʊŋ]
SeasonsDie Jahreszeiten[ˈjaːʁəsˌt͡saɪ̯tən]
SpringDer Frühling[ˈfʁyːlɪŋ]
SummerDer Sommer[ˈzɔmɐ]
FallDer Herbst[hɛʁpst]
WinterDer Winter[ˈvɪntɐ]
Rainy seasonDie Regenzeit[ˈʁeːɡn̩ˌt͡saɪ̯t]
Dry seasonDie Trockenzeit[ˈtʁɔkn̩ˌt͡saɪ̯t]
SnowmanDer Schneemann[ˈʃneːˌman]
Snowball fightDie Schneeballschlacht[ˈʃneːbalˌʃlaxt]
SlushDer Schneematsch[ˈʃneːˌmat͡ʃ]
Great weather for swimmingDas Badewetter[ˈbaːdəˈvɛtɐ]

Weather related expressions in German

Weather-related expressions are often easy to guess because it’s so obvious what the weather means to us. If we look like a “watered poodle” or “make a face like seven days of rain”, that obviously doesn’t mean we look very happy!

German expressionLiteral TranslationMeaning
Heiliges Donnerwetter!Holy thunder weather!Gee!
Es regnet wie aus KübelnIt's raining out of bucketsIt's raining hard
Es schüttet wie aus EimernIt's pouring out of bucketsIt's raining hard
Es regnet BindfädenIt's raining stringsIt's raining hard
Das HundewetterDog weatherBad weather
Die AffenhitzeThe monkey heatIntense heat
Sonne tankenTo gas up on sunTo soak up the sun
Das KaiserwetterEmperor weatherGlorious, sunny weather
Du machst ein Gesicht wie sieben Tage RegenwetterYou make a face like seven days of rainYou look really down
Du siehst aus wie ein begossener PudelYou look like a watered poodleYou look miserable
Wir sind ja nicht aus ZuckerWe aren’t made of sugarCommon phrase to encourage someone to go out even though it’s raining
Das ist Schnee von gesternThat’s snow from yesterdayThat’s old news
Durch den Wind seinTo be through the windTo be a little scatter-brained

When is a good time to visit Germany, Austria and Switzerland?

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland you’ll generally get the best weather from May through September. July is the warmest month with regular highs around 75°F (24°C) and temperatures rarely dropping below 57°F (14°C) at night.

The best time to visit a German speaking country.

In winter, the average temperatures are between 0°C (32 °F) and 3 °C (37 °F), mostly depending on the altitude. The South, including Bavaria, is generally colder, especially up in the mountains.

From December through April you’re likely to see some snow in most of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which can be nice, too if that’s what you’re looking for. Especially in December, some snow will make your trip to the German Christmas markets extra magical.

Holy thunder weather

Heiliges Donnerwetter - so many things that can and need to be said about the weather! It all depends on your experience level and what you’re in the mood for.

Speaking about the weather can mean anything, from the most basic statement about how nice the weather is to a lively discussion about the impact of climate change. That way, it gives you a broad spectrum of things to say that will come in handy in any situation.

One last tip: If you ever get stuck inside during a snowstorm, make sure you have enough reading material. Start with our sunny German language blog!

Share this

Find out more

Fill in the form below and we’ll contact you to discuss your learning options and answer any questions you may have.