Learn to Talk About the Weather in German

Talking about the weather with dative expressions

Old bridge in rain at dusk, Wurzburg and River Main, Bavaria, Germany
Peter Adams/Getty Images

We all like to talk about the weather. Here, you'll learn how to do so in German, which means you'll also have to adjust to how most of the world outside the U.S. measures things like barometric pressure and temperatures. There are even a few hidden vocabulary dangers in talking about how warm or cold you are! (We'll tell you how to avoid that problem.)

You'll also be introduced to reading or listening to a weather forecast in German.

When you're in German-speaking Europe, you need to know how to understand a typical weather forecast. Will you need an umbrella (​einen Regenschirm) today, or not? You'll also find some exercises for practicing what you learn.

Weather-related Vocabulary and Phrases in German

Let's start with some common weather phrases and vocabulary. Review the chart below for many common weather expressions.

DAS WETTER - THE WEATHER
Useful Phrases
D E U T S C HE N G L I S H
Fragen - Questions
Wie ist das Wetter heute?What's the weather like today?
Ist es warm/kalt/kühl?Is it warm/cold/cool?
Wie viel Grad sind es?What's the temperature?
"How many degrees is it?"
Scheint die Sonne?Is the sun shining?
Wo ist mein Regenschirm?Where's my umbrella?
PHRASES 1 - ES + VERB
Es regnet.It's raining.
Es blitzt.There's lightning.
Es donnert.It's thundering.
Es schneit.It's snowing.
Es hagelt.It's hailing.
PHRASES 2 - ES IST + ADJECTIVE
Es ist schön.It's nice.
Es ist bewölkt.It's cloudy.
Es ist heiß.It's hot.
Es ist kalt.It's cold.
Es ist windig.It's windy.
Es ist schwül.It's muggy/humid.
So ein Sauwetter!Such lousy weather!
DATIVE PHRASES - MIR + IST
Mir ist kalt.I feel cold./I'm cold.
Ist es dir zu heiß?Do you feel too hot?/Are you too hot?
DATIVE PHRASES: Although it is okay to say "I'm hot/cold" in English, this is not the case in German. To express that you feel hot or cold in German, you use a dative pronoun (dir and mirin the examples above). The German says "to me it is hot" rather than "I am hot" — which means something like you are "in heat"!