Weather terms in French you need to know

The weather is something that everyone has an opinion on. It also makes it a great conversation topic when you’re first learning a new language online or face-to-face. So, what are the weather terms in French you need to know ?

In general, French weather-related expressions can be divided into four main categories:

  • Times when the weather does (il fait + adverb) ;
  • When there is some type of weather (il y a + noun) ;
  • Also, when the weather is (il + verbe) ;
  • Finally, with c’est + adjective.

But don’t worry, it will all become clear soon !

weather terms in french

Table of content :

  1. The best terms to describe the weather in French
  2. French conversation questions about the weather
  3. Essential French weather terms
  4. Useful French weather expressions

The best terms to describe the weather in French

First of all, there are 4 different possibilities to talk about the weather in French as follows :

Il fait / il ne fait pas + adverbe

First, for some phrases, you’re going to use the verb faire, which means to do or to make.

  • Il fait beau = the weather is nice
  • Il ne fait pas beau = the weather isn’t nice
  • Il fait chaud = it’s hot
  • Il fait froid = it’s cold
  • Il fait doux = it’s mild

Il y a / il n’y a pas + nom

Then, you can use there is followed by a noun (il y a) :

  • Il y a du soleil = there’s sun
  • Il n’y a pas de vent = there’s no wind
  • Il y a des nuages = there are clouds
  • Il y a de l’orage = there’s a storm

Il + verbe / Il ne + verbe + pas

And a third option is also to use a verb with il (meaning it) :

  • Il pleut = it rains (infinitive pleuvoir)
  • Il ne pleut pas = it doesn’t rain
  • Il gèle = it freezes (infinitive geler)
  • Il a neigé = it snowed (infinitive neiger)
  • Il grêlera = it will hail (infinitive grêler)

You conjugate the verb depending if you are talking about the past, the present or the futur.

C’est / ce n’est pas + adjective

Finally, talking about the weather can be done with adjectives :

  • C’est ensoleillé = it’s sunny
  • Ce n’est pas nuageux = it’s not cloudy
  • C’est venteux = it’s windy
  • C’est enneigé = it’s snowy
describe the weather in french

French conversation questions about the weather

In addition, discussing the weather in French is the ultimate icebreaker ! Here are some questions you may ask to engage a conversation with locals in France :

  • Quel temps fait-il aujourd’hui ? = What’s the weather like today ?
  • Quelle est la température dehors ? = What’s the temperature outside ?
  • Combien de degrés fait-il ? = How many degrees is it ?
  • Vous pensez qu’il va pleuvoir ce week-end ? = Do you think it’s going to rain this week-end?
  • Quelles sont les prévisions pour demain ? = What’s the weather forecast for tomorrow ?
  • Est-ce que vous n’avez pas trop froid / trop chaud ? = Are you not too cold / too hot ?
questions about the french weather

Essential French weather terms

To talk about the weather in French, we can use la météo or le temps.

Common nouns in French about the weather

  • L’arc-en-ciel = the rainbow (m)
  • L’averse = the shower (f)
  • Le brouillard = the fog (m)
  • La canicule = the heatwave (f)
  • La chaleur = the heat (f)
  • L’éclair = the lightning (m)
  • L’orage = the thunderstorm (m)
  • La grêle = the hail (f)
  • La neige = the snow (f)
  • Le nuage = the cloud (m)
  • La pluie = the rain (f)
  • Le soleil = the sun (m)
  • La tempête = the storm (f)
  • Le vent = the wind (m)
  • Le verglas = the ice storm (m)

Essential French weather-related verbs

  • Augmenter = to increase
  • Baisser / diminuer = to decrease
  • Briller = to shine
  • Eclater = to break / to burst
  • Frissonner = to shiver
  • Neiger = to snow
  • Pleuvoir = to rain
  • Souffler / venter = to blow
  • Transpirer = to sweat

Main adjectives used to describe the weather in French

  • Enneigé (m) / enneigée (f) = snowy
  • Ensoleillé / ensoleillée = sunny
  • Humide / humide = wet
  • Nuageux / nuageuse = cloudy
  • Orageux / orageuse = stormy
  • Sec / sèche = dry
  • Venteux / venteuse = windy

At last, to get a better idea about the French weather forecast, feel to check Meteo France.

french weather terms

Useful French weather expressions

Lastly, as we’ve seen with food and colours, we’ve got some pretty idioms in French concerning the weather.

Here are a few exciting French weather expressions :

  • Il fait un froid de canard = it’s freezing
  • Il pleut des cordes = it’s pouring (it’s raining cats and dogs)
  • Il fait un temps de chien = it’s a bad weather
  • Il fait une chaleur à crever = it’s hot as hell
  • Il fait un soleil de plomb = it’s a blazing sun (the sun is as heavy as lead)
  • Ça tape (fam.) = The heat is very strong (it hits you)
french weather expressions

Would you like to feel more confident with speaking in French ? Do you want to learn additional vocabulary and French expressions ? Feel free to reach out today and let me know how I can assist you. French classes are available for all levels.

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