Spanish weather terms are important to know, whether you plan to use them in daily chit-chat or to stay safe during a tropical storm. To talk about the weather, you’ll first need to familiarize yourself with a variety of words and expressions. You can get by with a knowledge of common adjectives like caluroso (hot), but you’ll also benefit from learning some nouns and verbs.
Let’s face it: There are lots of different weather conditions and patterns — especially when we consider the tropical forests, mountains and beaches that cover vast swathes of Latin America. That means we need lots of ways to describe the climate. Since we use Spanish weather terms to tell stories about the past or forecast the future, we also need to learn how to use the past, present and future tenses. Here’s everything you need to know about Spanish weather terms.
- Spanish weather vocabulary terms
- Grammar for weather words in Spanish
- Weather expressions in Spanish
Spanish weather vocabulary terms
Let’s start with the most basic vocabulary. Here are the most common Spanish weather terms that you can use to be understood in any Spanish-speaking country. Though some vocabulary can vary by country, these are the common Spanish weather terms in Mexico (and a good number of other Latin American countries).
- nublado – cloudy
- soleado – sunny
- lluvioso – rainy
- ventoso – windy
- tormentoso – stormy
- fresco – fresh/cool/brisk
- húmedo – humid
- el calor – the heat
- el frío – the cold
- la niebla – the fog
- el clima – the weather/climate
- el tiempo – the weather
- la temporada – the season
- la primavera – the spring
- el verano – the summer
- el otoño – the autumn/fall
- el invierno – the winter
- el charco – the puddle
- el lodo – the mud
- la inundación – the flood
- la tormenta – the storm
- el huracán – the hurricane
- la lluvia – the rain
- el sol – the sun
- las nubes – the clouds
- el relámpago – the lightning
- el trueno – the thunder
- la nieve – the snow
- la niebla – the fog
- el viento – the wind
- la helada – the frost
- el granizo – the hail
- la brisa – the breeze
- la temperatura – the temperature
- llover – to rain
- nevar – to snow
- nublarse – to cloud
- lloviznar – to drizzle
- despejar – clear up
- helar – to freeze
- diluviar – to pour
- enfriar – to cool
- pronosticar el clima – to predict the weather
Grammar for weather words in Spanish
Now that you have a few key Spanish weather terms in your arsenal, let’s learn how to use them in phrases and sentences.
‘Hacer’ + adjective
The verb hacer (to do/make) is often used with a noun to describe the weather in Spanish. This doesn’t translate literally into English, so Spanish language learners must simply get used to these common expressions for weather.
To talk about the present use hace:
- Hace sol. – It’s sunny
- Hace calor. – It’s hot.
- Hace frío. – It’s cold.
To talk about the past use hacía:
- Hacía sol ayer. – It was sunny yesterday.
- Hacía demasiado calor el año pasado. – It was too hot last year.
To talk about the future use hará:
- Hará sol mañana. – It will be sunny tomorrow.
- Hará bastante frío este invierno. – It will be quite cold this winter.
We can also use estar (to be) with an adjective to describe the weather.
To talk about the present, use está:
- Está nublado. – It’s cloudy.
- Está lluvioso. – It’s rainy.
- Está tan húmedo. – It’s so humid.
- El camino está helado. – The road is icy.
- La carretera está bloqueada con nieve. – The freeway is blocked with snow.
To talk about the past, use the simple past tense estuvo:
- Estuvo nublado ayer. – It was cloudy yesterday.
To talk about the future use the simple future tense estará:
- Estará húmedo mañana. – It will be humid tomorrow.
You can also use estar + gerund:
- Está lloviendo. – It’s raining.
‘Haber’ + noun
The verb haber (to be) is used with a noun to describe the weather, as well.
To talk about the present, use hay:
- Hay granizo. – There is hail.
- Hay inundaciones. – There are floods/There is flooding.
To talk about the past, use the simple past tense hubo:
- Hace 10 años hubo un huracán fuerte. – Ten years ago, there was a strong hurricane.
To talk about the future, use habrá or habrán:
- Habrán muchos relámpagos esta noche. – There will be a lot of lightning tonight.
Weather expressions in Spanish
Finally, let’s cover how to ask about the weather using idiomatic Spanish weather terms.
Asking about the weather
To ask about the weather today, use these questions:
- ¿Qué tiempo hace? – What’s the weather like?
- ¿Cómo está el clima? – How’s the weather/What’s the weather like?
To ask about the past or future, use estar:
- ¿Cómo estuvo el clima ayer en la playa? – How was the weather yesterday at the beach?
- ¿Cómo estará el clima en el sur? – How will the weather be in the south?
For a more general impression of a certain climate, we can use the verb ser (to be) because it feels more permanent than estar:
- ¿Cómo es el clima en Noruega? – How is the weather in Norway?
Here are a few idiomatic expressions to describe the weather:
- Llover a cántaros. – It’s raining a lot; literally, “it’s raining from clay pots.”
- Hace frio que pela. – It’s freezing cold; literally, “a cold that peels.” This expression originates from Alpine climbers.
- Febrero loco y marzo otro poco. – Literally, “Crazy February, and March a little more of the same.” Mexicans tend to share the belief that unpredictable weather in February portends a similar trend in March.