162 French Weather Vocabulary Terms and Expressions [With Audio]

“The weather” in French is le temps or la météo, which is usually used to talk about the weather forecast. 

Being able to talk about the weather in French is useful for making small talk and understanding the forecast when you’re traveling in the French-speaking world.

This post will cover all the vocabulary you need, from the most common words and phrases to some popular idioms and expressions.

We’ll also show you how to ask questions about the weather in French so you know what to expect when you step out for the day.


Phrases for Talking About the Weather in French

Many phrases about the weather in French start with Il fait, C’est or Il. We’ll show you how to use each one below. 

Il fait + [adjective]

Il fait literally means “it makes” and you’ll use it with an adjective to form some of the most basic weather expressions, as follows:

Il fait froid. It's cold.
Il fait très froid. It's very cold.
Il fait frais. It's cool (temperature).
Il fait beau. It's nice out (Literally: It makes beautiful).
Il fait chaud. It's hot.
Il fait mauvais. The weather is bad.
Il fait moche. The weather is bad (Literally: It makes ugly).
Il y a du vent. It's windy.
Il y a du soleil. It's sunny.
Il y a du brouillard. It's foggy. (Literally: There is fog).

C’est + [adjective]

You can also start your basic weather sentences with c’est (literally, “this/that is”), also followed by an adjective:

C'est nuageux. It's cloudy.
C'est gelé. It's icy.
C'est glacé. It's icy cold.
C'est orageux. It's stormy.
C'est humide. It's humid.

Il + [verb] 

The verbs pleuvoir (to rain) and neiger  (to snow) are used in the third-person singular:

Il pleut. (It’s raining.)

Il neige. (It’s snowing.)

Expressions About the Weather in French


Here are some more common French expressions for commenting on the weather.

French expressionEnglish
Le ciel est clair. The sky is clear.
Le temps est clair. The weather is clear.
Il y a des éclaircies. There are clear spells.
Le soleil brille. The sun is shining.
La météo est variable. The weather is changeable.
Il y a de l'orage. There's a storm.
Le temps est maussade. The weather is gloomy.
Il pleut à seaux. It's raining buckets.
On crève de chaud. The heat is killing us!
J’adore quand il pleut. I love it when it rains.
Je déteste quand il fait trop chaud. I hate it when it’s too hot.

How to Ask About the Weather in French

These questions will help you ask about the weather so you know what to expect and can be well prepared: 

French QuestionEnglish Translation
Quel temps fait-il ? What is the weather like?
Quel temps fait-il à ... ? What is the weather like in ... ? (a specific place)
Quel temps fait-il aujourd'hui ? What's the weather like today?
Comment sera le temps demain ? What will the weather be like tomorrow?
Est-ce qu'il va pleuvoir aujourd'hui ? Is it going to rain today?
Est-ce qu'il fait chaud dehors ? Is it hot outside?
Est-ce qu'il y aura du soleil ce weekend ? Will there be sunshine this weekend?
Est-ce qu'il va neiger demain ? Is it going to snow tomorrow?
Quelle est la température prévue pour cet après-midi ? What's the forecasted temperature for this afternoon?
Est-ce qu'il y a du vent aujourd'hui ? Is it windy today?
Est-ce qu'il fera plus frais ce soir ? Will it be cooler tonight?
Est-ce que le temps sera nuageux demain ? Will the weather be cloudy tomorrow?
Est-ce qu'il y aura des averses cette semaine ? Will there be showers this week?
Est-ce que le temps s'améliorera plus tard ? Will the weather improve later?
Quand est-ce que la chaleur va diminuer ? When will the heat decrease?
Comment est la météo en ce moment ? How is the weather right now?
Est-ce qu'il y a un risque d'orage ce soir ? Is there a chance of thunderstorms tonight?
Est-ce qu'il fera plus froid qu'hier ? Will it be colder than yesterday?
Quelle est la prévision pour la semaine prochaine ? What's the forecast for next week?
Est-ce qu'il fait doux dehors ? Is it mild outside?
Est-ce que le temps est agréable aujourd'hui ? Is the weather pleasant today?
Quand est-ce que le soleil se couche ? When does the sun set?

Everyday French Weather Vocabulary 


We’ve compiled a list of some common French terms that often come up in small talk about the weather. You may need to review our guide on French nouns to use them properly in conversation. 

FrenchEnglishExample Sentence
temps weather Il fait beau temps aujourd'hui.
(The weather is nice today.)
ciel sky Le ciel est dégagé ce soir.
(The sky is clear tonight.)
soleil sun Le soleil brille intensément en été.
(The sun shines brightly in the summer.)
lune moon La lune est pleine ce soir.
(The moon is full tonight.)
étoiles stars Les étoiles scintillent dans le ciel de la nuit.
(The stars twinkle in the nighttime sky.)
nuages clouds Les nuages couvrent le ciel aujourd'hui.
(The clouds cover the sky today.)
vent wind Le vent souffle fort près de la côte.
(The wind is blowing strongly near the coast.)
brise breeze Une légère brise rafraîchit l'air en été.
(A gentle breeze cools the air in the summer.)
pluie rain La pluie tombe depuis ce matin.
(The rain has been falling since this morning.)
goutte de pluie raindrop Une seule goutte de pluie déclencha des éclats de rire joyeux.
(A single raindrop triggered bursts of joyful laughter.)
neige snow La neige recouvre tout le paysage en hiver.
(The snow covers the entire landscape in winter.)
flocon de neige snowflake C'est beau à Paris quand de gros flocons de neige tombent.
(It's beautiful in Paris when large snowflakes are falling.)
brouillard fog Le brouillard réduit la visibilité sur la route.
(The fog reduces visibility on the road.)
rosée dew La rosée du matin brille sur les feuilles.
(The morning dew glistens on the leaves.)
givre hoarfrost Les arbres sont couverts de givre, créant un paysage féerique.
(The trees are covered in hoarfrost, creating a magical landscape.)
météo changeante changing weather La météo changeante rend difficile la planification des activités.
(The changing weather makes it difficult to plan activities.)
chaleur heat La chaleur est écrasante en plein été.
(The heat is overwhelming in the middle of summer.)
fraîcheur coolness J'apprécie la fraîcheur de l'air en automne.
(I appreciate the coolness of the air in the fall.)
froid cold Il fait vraiment froid dehors aujourd'hui.
(It's really cold outside today.)
climat climate Le climat de cette région est plutôt doux en général.
(The climate of this region is generally mild.)
averse shower Attends un moment, il y a une averse passagère.
(Wait a moment, there's a passing shower.)
crépuscule twilight Le crépuscule offre des couleurs magnifiques dans le ciel.
(Twilight provides beautiful colors in the sky.)
aube dawn Les oiseaux chantent à l'aube.
(The birds sing at dawn.)
marée tide Les marées sont influencées par la position de la lune.
(Tides are influenced by the position of the moon.)
arc-en-ciel rainbow
Il y a un arc-en-ciel.
(There's a rainbow.)

French Terms for Extreme Weather Conditions


Hopefully, you won’t have to experience any of these extreme weather conditions, but it’s important to understand them and know how to use them just in case! 

FrenchEnglishExample Sentence
tempête storm Une tempête approche rapidement.
(A storm is approaching rapidly.)
ouragan hurricane Les habitants ont été évacués en prévision de l'ouragan.
(The residents were evacuated in anticipation of the hurricane.)
a été frappé par un ouragan was hit by a hurricane Le village côtier a été frappé par un ouragan dévastateur.
(The coastal village was struck by a devastating hurricane.)
saison des ouragans hurricane season Les préparatifs sont intenses pendant la saison des ouragans chaque année.
(Preparations are intense during the hurricane season every year.)
alerte ouragan hurricane warning Les résidents surveillent attentivement les alertes ouragans pour se préparer.
(Residents closely monitor hurricane advisories to prepare themselves.)
tornade tornado Une tornade a causé des dégâts importants dans la région.
(A tornado caused significant damage in the area.)
typhon typhoon Le typhon s'approche des côtes avec des vents violents.
(The typhoon is approaching the coast with strong winds.)
cyclone cyclone Le cyclone a laissé derrière lui une traînée de destruction.
(The cyclone left a trail of destruction behind.)
trombe waterspout Nous avons pu observer une trombe au large.
(We were able to observe a waterspout out at sea.)
rafale gust Les rafales de vent ont atteint des vitesses impressionnantes.
(The gusts of wind reached impressive speeds.)
éclair lightning L'éclair illumina le ciel pendant une fraction de seconde.
(The lightning illuminated the sky for a split second.)
tonnerre thunder Le tonnerre grondait au loin pendant l'orage.
(The thunder rumbled in the distance during the storm.)
grêle hail La grêle a endommagé les cultures dans les champs.
(The hail damaged the crops in the fields.)
grêler to hail (hailstones falling); to cause damage by hail L'orage a grêlé la voiture.
(The hail storm caused damage to the car.)
neige abondante heavy snowfall Une neige abondante a provoqué des fermetures d'écoles.
(Heavy snowfall led to school closures.)
avalanche avalanche Une avalanche s'est produite en montagne sans avertissement.
(An avalanche occurred in the mountains without warning.)
blizzard blizzard Le blizzard rendait la visibilité presque nulle sur la route.
(The blizzard made visibility nearly zero on the road.)
canicule heatwave La canicule a entraîné des températures record dans la région.
(The heatwave resulted in record temperatures in the region.)
gelée frost La gelée matinale a recouvert les champs d'une fine couche de glace.
(The morning frost covered the fields with a thin layer of ice.)
verglas black ice Faites attention en conduisant, il pourrait y avoir du verglas sur la route.
(Be careful while driving, there might be black ice on the road.)
pluie torrentielle torrential rain Les rues étaient inondées à cause de la pluie torrentielle.
(The streets were flooded due to the torrential rain.)
inondation flood Les habitants ont été évacués en raison de l'inondation.
(The residents were evacuated due to the flood.)
être inondé to be flooded La maison a été inondée.
(The house was flooded.)
sécheresse drought La sécheresse prolongée a eu un impact sur les réserves d'eau.
(The prolonged drought has had an impact on water reserves.)

Scientific French Weather Terms


If you’re going to be watching or reading the news in French, or if you’re specifically interested in science, it will help to know some of these scientific weather terms.

FrenchEnglishExample Sentence
prévisions météorologiques weather forecast Les prévisions météorologiques annoncent des averses pour demain matin.
(The weather forecast predicts showers for tomorrow morning)
humidité humidity L'humidité est élevée après la pluie.
(The humidity is high after the rain.)
thermomètre thermometer J'ai consulté le thermomètre pour vérifier la température extérieure.
(I checked the thermometer to verify the outdoor temperature.)
baromètre barometer Le baromètre indique que la pression atmosphérique est en baisse.
(The barometer indicates that the atmospheric pressure is dropping.)
pluviomètre rain gauge Le pluviomètre enregistre la quantité de précipitations tombées ce mois-ci.
(The rain gauge records the amount of precipitation that has fallen this month.)
girouette weather vane La girouette indique la direction d'où vient le vent.
(The weather vane indicates the direction from which the wind is coming.)
pression atmosphérique atmospheric pressure La pression atmosphérique est en train de chuter, ce qui pourrait indiquer une tempête.
(The atmospheric pressure is dropping, which could indicate a storm.)
rayonnement solaire solar radiation Le rayonnement solaire est plus intense à midi.
(Solar radiation is more intense at noon.)
prévisions prediction Les prévisions annoncent des averses pour demain.
(The weather predictions forecast showers for tomorrow.)
front front (weather system) Un front froid arrive du nord, apportant des températures plus basses.
(A cold front is coming from the north, bringing lower temperatures.)
météorologie meteorology La météorologie étudie les phénomènes atmosphériques.
(Meteorology studies atmospheric phenomena.)
climatologie climatology La climatologie se penche sur les schémas climatiques à long terme.
(Climatology examines long-term climate patterns.)
température temperature La température est en constante évolution.
(The temperature is constantly changing.)
précipitations precipitation Les précipitations annuelles moyennes varient d'une région à l'autre.
(Average annual precipitation varies from one region to another.)
éruption volcanique volcanic eruption L'éruption volcanique a provoqué une évacuation d'urgence.
(The volcanic eruption triggered an emergency evacuation.)
échelle de Beaufort Beaufort scale L'échelle de Beaufort mesure la force du vent.
(The Beaufort scale measures wind strength.)
condensation condensation La condensation forme des gouttes d'eau sur les surfaces froides.
(Condensation forms water droplets on cold surfaces.)
anticyclone anticyclone L'anticyclone apporte généralement des conditions ensoleillées.
(An anticyclone typically brings sunny conditions.)
dépression depression Une dépression s'accompagne souvent d'un temps pluvieux.
(Depression often comes with rainy weather.)
changement climatique climate change Le changement climatique a des répercussions mondiales.
(Climate change has global repercussions.)
réchauffement climatique global warming Le réchauffement climatique contribue à la fonte des glaces.
(Global warming contributes to ice melting.)
effet de serre greenhouse effect L'effet de serre retient la chaleur dans l'atmosphère.
(The greenhouse effect traps heat in the atmosphere.)
couches atmosphériques atmospheric layers Les couches atmosphériques varient en composition et en densité.
(Atmospheric layers vary in composition and density.)
stratosphère stratosphere La stratosphère abrite la couche d'ozone.
(The stratosphere houses the ozone layer.)
troposphère troposphere La troposphère est la couche la plus proche de la surface terrestre.
(The troposphere is the layer closest to the Earth's surface.)
ionosphère ionosphere L'ionosphère joue un rôle dans la propagation des ondes radio.
(The ionosphere plays a role in the propagation of radio waves.)
degré degree Il fait vingt degrés.
(It's 20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit.)

French Idioms Related to the Weather


Understanding commonly used idioms in French is helpful so you don’t take them literally and get confused. You’ll really impress your French-speaking friends if you learn them well enough to use them in conversation!

French IdiomLiteral TranslationMeaning
Il pleut des cordes It's raining ropesIt's raining cats and dogs
Il pleut comme vache qui pisse It's raining like a pissing cowIt's raining hard
Il fait un froid de canard It's duck coldIt's freezing cold
Avoir le vent en poupe To have the wind in one's sailsTo have good luck or favorable conditions
Prendre le vent To catch the windTo gain an advantage from a situation
Faire la pluie et le beau temps To make the rain and the nice weatherTo be in control, to have power
Ventiler quelqu'un To fan someoneTo criticize or scold someone
Tomber comme des grêlons To fall like hailstonesTo fall in great numbers or rapidly
C'est du vent It's windIt's empty talk or a promise that won't be fulfilled
Faire un froid de loup To be cold (like a wolf)To be extremely cold
Il fait un temps de chien The weather has gone to the dogsThe weather is horrible
Il pleut des hallebardes It's raining halberdsIt's pouring buckets
Une pluie battante "Beating" rainPounding rain
Trempé comme une soupe Soaked like a soupSoaked to the skin
Être trempée jusqu’aux os Soaked to the boneSoaked to the bone
Ça caille To curdle (like curdling milk)It's freezing.
Il fait un soleil de plomb The sun is made of leadIt's blistering hot.
Un été pourri A rotten summerA horrible summer (ruined by bad weather or rain)
Il y a un brouillard à couper au couteau The fog is so thick you could cut it with a knifeYou can replace "fog" with anything thick, such as tension or an accent.
Il fait un temps de Toussaint It's All Saints' weatherGloomy and cold weather typical of the month of November
Le fond de l’air est frais The back of the air is coolThe weather is actually colder than it seems
Noël sous la neige Christmas under the snowA white Christmas
Les saints de glace Ice saintsA period of three days in the month of May when it’s believed that the weather can suddenly turn cold and there’s a risk of frost.

French Proverbs Related to the Weather


Many French proverbs involve the weather, and being familiar with them will make you that much more like a native speaker. Here we’ve compiled some of the most common weather-related proverbs in French.

French ProverbEnglish TranslationExplanation
En avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil. In April, do not shed a thread.It's cautioning against being too quick to shed warm clothing in April, as the weather can still be unpredictable.
Soleil levant, pluie avant. Rising sun, rain to come.If the sun rises while it's still raining, it's likely that the rain will continue.
Rosée du soir, il fera beau le lendemain. Evening dew, it will be fine tomorrow.If there's dew in the evening, the next day is likely to be sunny.
Arc-en-ciel le soir, fait bon espoir; arc-en-ciel le matin, pluie en chemin. Rainbow in the evening, good hope; rainbow in the morning, rain on the way.Seeing a rainbow in the evening can be a sign of good weather ahead, while a morning rainbow often predicts rain.
Neige en janvier, blé au grenier. Snow in January, wheat in the granary.If it snows in January, it's a positive sign for the upcoming harvest.
Orage de nuit, peu de mal, mais bien du bruit. A storm at night doesn’t do a lot of damage, but makes a lot of noise.Don’t worry, it will all be okay in the morning.
Le soleil du matin ne dure pas tout le jour. The morning sun doesn't last all day.A project that starts well can sometimes end in disaster.
Le soleil brille après la pluie. The sun shines after the rain.After a difficult period, things will get better.
Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps. One swallow does not a summer make.Don't jump to conclusions on the basis of one hint or sign.
Noël au balcon, Pâques au tison. Christmas on the balcony, Easter at the embers.A warm Christmas will mean a cold Easter.
En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait. In May, do as you please.You can dress however you want in May.
En juin, tu te vêtiras d’un rien. In June, you don't have to wear much.In June, it's so hot that you don't need to wear too many layers of clothes.
Chaleur d’août, c’est du bien partout. In the heat of August, everything’s fine.Everything is good in August since it's the height of summer.

How to Practice French Weather Vocabulary 

If you have a language exchange partner or fellow learner, you can practice your weather vocabulary using the phrases above.

We also recommend creating flashcards to study up for your conversation. You can make your own using pictures from Google Images or use a specialized flashcard app.

Another good practice method is using an immersive language program like FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Now that you have all of this French weather vocabulary, take out that umbrella, get your French-speaking friend to tag along and start chatting!

And one more thing...

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Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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