How to Tell the Weather in German

by Jakob Straub
February 04, 2020

The weather is always a safe topic in conversation and small talk. Germany is no exception: people like to talk about the weather. Asking weather-related questions and being able to understand the answers is also useful to know what to wear in every season and how to plan you outdoor activities in Germany. We’ll introduce you to common weather phrases and vocabulary!

Asking about the weather in German

Questions about “das Wetter” (the weather) are straightforward in German. While Germans will ask about the current situation outside, they’re just as much concerned with the future outlook. It’s important to them to know the weather forecast, “die Wettervorhersage”!

  • “Wie ist das Wetter heute / morgen?” = How’s the weather today / tomorrow?
  • Ist es warm / kalt / schön / schlecht?” = “Is it warm / cold / good / bad?
  • “Wie ist die Wettervorhersage für heute / morgen?” = What is the weather forecast for today / tomorrow?
  • “Wie viel Grad sind es?” = What’s the temperature? (literally: how many degrees is it?)
  • Wie warm / kalt ist es?” = How warm / cold is it?

Talking about the weather in German

Answering weather-related questions in German is often possible with a simple statement. Similarly to telling the time in German, you can say “Es ist…” (It is… ) followed by the appropriate adjective:

  • “Es ist schönes / schlechtes Wetter.” = It is nice / bad weather.
  • “Es ist heiß / kalt / kühl / frisch / warm.” = It is hot / cold / cool / fresh / warm.
  • “Es ist sonnig / bewölkt / regnerisch / verschneit / windig / neblig / trüb / klar” = It is sunny / cloudy / rainy / snowy / windy / foggy / hazy / clear.

Of course, instead of describing the weather with an adjective, you can make short statements with a verb. Note that instead of using the progressive as in English (It’s raining), German employs the simple present: “Es regnet.” (It rains).

  • “Die Sonne scheint.” = The sun is shining (the sun shines).
  • “Es windet.” = It’s windy (literally: the wind blows).
  • “Es schneit.” = It’s snowing (it snows).
  • As soon as the weather permits, the Germans like to mingle in the beer gardens. Learn all about German Biergarten Banter!

Weather conditions and seasons in German

In Germany, you’ll definitely experience the four seasons in full swing, and each of them will bring distinct weather conditions. The following vocabulary list will not only help you talk about the climate, seasons and weather conditions in German, it also enables you to better understand the forecast.

Frühling, Sommer, Herbst, Winter Spring, summer, fall, winter
die Sonne sun
der Regen / Nieselregen / Schneeregen rain / drizzle / sleet 
der Schnee snow
der Blitz lightning
der Donner thunder
der Hagel hail
der Regenbogen rainbow
die Wolke cloud
der Wind / der Sturm wind / storm
der Himmel sky
der Niederschlag precipitation

die Tageshöchsttemperatur / 

die Tagestiefsttemperatur 

daily maximum temperature /

daily low temperature

die Windgeschwindigkeit wind speed
das Glatteis black ice
der Frost frost
das Tauwetter thaw
der Gefrierpunkt freezing point
die Temperatur temperature
  • Did you know that Germany’s cold weather has led to many Winter Idioms?

Expressing comfort or discomfort in German

Of course, the Germans are happy when the sun is shining and pleasant weather generally lifts the mood and makes everyone and everything more agreeable. But complaining about the weather is just as delightful! Here’s how you express comfort or discomfort in regard to temperatures or the weather:

  • “Mir ist (zu) kalt / warm / heiß / kühl.” = I’m too cold / warm / hot / cool.
  • “Ist es dir zu heiß / kalt?” = Are you too hot / cold?
  • “Es ist so schwül!” = It’s so humid / muggy!
  • “Ich schwitze.” = I’m sweating.
  • “Es ist wunderschönes / schreckliches Wetter.” = It is beautiful / terrible weather.
  • “So ein Mistwetter!” = Such lousy weather!
  • “Es sieht nach Regen / Schnee / Gewitter aus.” = It looks like rain / snow / a thunderstorm.
  • “Es ist tolles Badewetter!” = It’s great swimming / beach weather!

Mist in the sense of haze is “Dunst” in German. Although the word “Mist” is used to talk about the weather (see above), it’s one of the many False Friends in German and English.

Beware that German uses the “Dativ” (dative) to express how a certain temperature feels to you. The dative pronoun such as “mir” or “dir” (to me, to you) is followed by a statement with an adjective: “Mir ist warm” means “It is warm to me.” Using the wrong case could result in a declaration of desire: “Du bist heiß” is the literal translation of “you’re hot” in the sense of “you’re attractive”.If that is indeed the route you want the conversation to take, talking about the weather is only a starter: take a look at these Flirty German Phrases if you want to learn how to make eyes at someone!

If you’d like to be able to use these phrases in context, sign up for a Lingoda lesson and your free 7-day trial today!

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