Weather Expressions


  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.

Remember, an idiom is an expression that cannot be immediately understood by analyzing its literal meaning. A few examples of idioms in English are:

to “drive someone crazy”
to “lose it”
to be “raining cats and dogs”

Spanish also has many idiomatic expressions. Although their literal translations sound odd to English speakers, they sound perfectly natural to native speakers. Here is one example:

Idiom: Hace mucho frío

Literally: It makes much cold

True Meaning: It is very cold

In Spanish, there are a number of idiomatic expressions that employ the verb hacer (literal meaning: to do or to make), and are used to describe the weather.

¿Qué tiempo hace?
What’s the weather like?
Hace frío.
It’s cold.
Hace calor.
It’s hot.
Hace viento.
It’s windy.
Hace sol.
It’s sunny.
Hace buen tiempo.
The weather is good.
Hace mal tiempo.
The weather is bad.
Hace fresco.
It’s brisk.

Like the idioms that use tener, these idioms also contain a noun.

  • el frío
  • el calor
  • el viento
  • el sol
  • el tiempo

Because the idioms use nouns, they are modified by adjectives, not adverbs.

Hace mucho frío.
It’s very cold.

There are also weather expressions that use the verb hay:

Hay niebla.
It’s foggy.
Hay neblina.
It’s misty.
Hay sol.
The sun is shining.
Hay luna.
The moon is out.
Hay relámpagos.
It’s lightning.
Hay humedad.
It’s humid.
Hay nubes.
It’s cloudy.
Hay lluvias torrenciales.
It’s pouring.
Hay un vendaval.
There’s a windstorm.
Hay granizo.
It’s hailing.
Hay lloviznas.
It’s sprinkling.

Other weather expressions use the verb estar along with an adjective:

Está oscuro.
It’s dark.
Está nublado.
It’s cloudy.
Está lluvioso.
It’s raining.

Other weather expressions simply use a single verb:

It is raining. or It rains.
From the verb llover (to rain)

It is snowing. or It snows.
From the verb nevar (to snow)

It is thundering. or It thunders.
From the verb tronar (to thunder)

It is drizzling. or It drizzles.
From the verb lloviznar (to drizzle)

Here are some common ways to ask about the weather:

  • ¿Qué tiempo hace?
  • ¿Qué clima hace?
  • ¿Cómo está el clima en …?
  • ¿Cómo está el tiempo?
  • ¿Cómo está el clima hoy?

The first practice exercise and test will cover ten of the most common and useful of these expressions:

  • ¿Qué tiempo hace?
  • Hace frío.
  • Hace calor.
  • Hace viento.
  • Hay niebla.
  • Hay granizo.
  • Hay relámpagos.
  • Llovizna.
  • Nieva.
  • Llueve.

Practice exercises 2-4 and test 2 will cover all of the expressions in this lesson.