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Weather in German – German Vocabulary 101

gloomy weather at cache castle
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Probably one of the most used subjects world-wide to strike up a conversation or have a little chin wag with your neighbors is the weather. And Germans are no exception to this rule. Talking about the weather is one of their favorite topics. Especially since the weather in Germany is very multifaceted. There are years with hot summers and icy winters, but there are also years when the summer is rather cool and rainy. And the winter as well. So when you want learn German, you should improve your weather vocabulary. OK, let’s look at the weather in German.

The German word for weather is das Wetter (neuter, no plural).
A rainy day in German: ein Regentag
A rainy day in German: ein Regentag — Image by mjtrimble from Pixabay

German Weather Words

Here are some German weather words, i.e. words containing the word weather or related to weather in general.

English ExpressionsGerman TranslationsGender
brass monkey weather (British English)saukaltes Wetterneuter
change in the weather patternder Wetterumschwungmasculine
change of weatherdie Wetteränderungfeminine
extreme weather eventdie Wetterkapriolefeminine
fair weatherdas Schönwetterneuter
improvement in the weatherdie Wetterbesserungfeminine
meteorological office (British English)das Wetteramtneuter
meteorologist
der Meteorologe / die Meteorologinmasculine / feminine
spell of bad weatherdie Schlechtwetterperiodefeminine
weatherdas Wetterneuter
weather balloonder Wetterballonmasculine
weather conditionsdie Witterungsverhältnisseplural
weather forecastdie Wettervorhersagefeminine
weather frontdie Wetterfrontfeminine
weather office (American English)das Wetteramtneuter
weather outlookdie Wetteraussichtfeminine
weather presenterder Wetteransager / die Wetteransagerinmasculine / feminine
weather protectionder Witterungsschutzmasculine
weather proverbdie Bauernregelfeminine
weather reportder Wetterberichtmasculine
weather satelliteder Wettersatellitmasculine
weather sidedie Windseitefeminine
weather stationdie Wetterwartefeminine
weather vaneder Wetterhahnmasculine
weather warningdie Unwetterwarnungfeminine

Weather Conditions in Germany

There are the four seasons: spring (der Frühling), summer (der Sommer), autumn (der Herbst) and winter (der Winter). They are the main forces influencing the German climate. 

But which kind of weather an area actually has also depends on its geographical location. The south of the country is often hot in the summer and snowy in the winter. The north, on the other hand, is near the baltic and the north sea. And their huge water masses take long to heat up in the spring, but also longer to cool down on during autumn. So northern Germany doesn’t get as hot in summer and the winters tend to be wet rather than white with snow. And they last longer in the north than in the south.

The Temperature in German

The temperature is measured in degrees Celsius, as opposed to Fahrenheit. I could give you the formula to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, but you’ll probably use an app on your smart phone anyway.

But it is useful to have some rough idea when you see an indication in Celsius in the weather forecast, so here’s a little table:

– 10 ℃ — 14 ℉

0 ℃ — 32 ℉ (freezing point of water)

10 ℃ — 50 ℉

20 ℃ — 68 ℉

30 ℃ — 86 ℉

hot day at the beach
Es ist heiß heute! – It is hot today! — Image by Uwe Jelting from Pixabay

How to talk about the Weather in German

Germany has a moderate climate and no real extremes. Heat waves are rare, there is no rainy season and lowest temperatures are rarely below. So most weather conditions should be familiar to you. Now, if you want to talk or ask about the weather in Germany, here are the top German weather related expressions together with the English translation:

when sunny

  • die Sonne scheint — the sun shines
  • die Sonne lacht — literally: the sun is laughing, poetic phrase meaning: the sun is shining
  • es ist warm — it is warm
  • es ist heiß — it is hot
  • blauer Himmel — blue sky
  • keine Wolke am Himmel — not a cloud in the sky

when cold

  • es ist kühl — it is chilly
  • es ist kalt — it is cold
  • ungemütliches Wetter — miserable weather

when cloudy

  • es ist bewölkt — it is cloudy
  • der Himmel ist bedeckt — the sky is overcast
  • dunkle Wolken ziehen auf — dark clouds gathering

when wet

  • es nieselt — it’s drizzling
  • es ist schwül — it is muggy
  • es regnet — it’s raining
  • schlechtes Wetter — inclement weather
  • es regnet Bindfäden — it’s raining cats and dogs (literally: it’s raining twines)
  • es schüttet wie aus Kübeln — it’s pouring down with rain (literally: it’s pouring as from buckets)
  • so ein Sauwetter — such lousy weather (literally: such sow weather) 

when windy

  • es ist windig — it is windy
  • es weht ganz schön — it blows quite a bit
  • es stürmt — it is storming
  • eine leichte Brise — a light breeze
  • starker Wind — strong wind
  • ein Herbststurm — an autumn storm
  • eine Sturmböe — a squall

when freezing

  • es schneit — it is snowing
  • die Wege sind verschneit — the paths are covered with snow
  • Vorsicht, Glatteis! — Caution, black ice!
weather in german - wetter
Weather vane in German: der Wetterhahn — Image by Denis Doukhan from Pixabay

How to ask about the Weather in German

When you want to ask a German about the weather, you might use one the following German phrases:

Wie wird das Wetter morgen? — How will the weather be tomorrow?

Wie wird das Wetter am Wochenende? — How will the weather be this weekend? 

Wissen Sie, wie das Wetter werden soll? (formal address) — Do you know what the weather is going to be like?

Weißt du, wie das Wetter werden soll? (informal address) — Do you know what the weather is going to be like?

Wie ist das Wetter heute bei euch? (informal address) — How is the weather today with you?

Example Sentences

  • Wollen wir hoffen, dass das Wetter bald besser wird. — Let’s hope that the weather will be better soon.
  • Sei froh, wenn du im Haus bleiben kannst. Das Wetter ist fürchterlich. — Count yourself lucky if you can stay in the house. The weather is terrible.
  • Das Wetter ist viel zu kühl für diese Jahreszeit. — The weather is much too cool for this time of year.
  • Wir wollen im Urlaub in den Süden. Bei dem Wetter hier wird man ja trübsinnig. — We want to go on vacation to the south. With the weather here you get gloomy.
  • Wie ist das Wetter bei euch? Hier regnet es schon wieder. — How is the weather over there? Here it is raining again.
  • Sieh mal, ein Regenbogen! — Look, a rainbow!

Conclusion

Congratulations, you made it to the end of this post and can consider yourself an expert to talk about the weather in German now! You don’t have to remember every single German phrase, but it would be good to learn a few words on a rainy day. It will be helpful to get in touch with the locals if you can talk about the weather with them.