Uncategorized · Vocabulary

Погода (Weather)

The weather (пого́да) is a very important aspect of our everyday lives. You have to know what the weather is doing or will be doing in order to plan certain activities. It’s also a very basic category to add to your vocabulary. If you don’t know the vocabulary words related to weather, you are going to run into roadblocks in everyday conversations.


Basic Vocab

In order to talk about the weather, there are some basic vocabulary words that you should know. Most of these words deal with times of the year (seasons) and times of the day. I also recommend that you study the days of the week and months of the year, which are not listed here.

пого́да weather
прогно́з пого́ды weather forecast

info   For newbies: The noun пого́да (weather) takes the genitive case ending -ы after прогно́з (forecast). The genitive case is used here to express possession or relation. Nouns in the genitive case can usually be explained in English by adding the word “of” before them: прогно́з пого́ды = “forecast of weather.”

времена́ го́да Seasons
вре́мя time  
год year (plural: лет)
весна́ spring весно́й (inst)
ле́то summer ле́том (inst)
о́сень fall, autumn о́сенью (inst)
зима́ winter зимо́й (inst)

info   The instrumental case of the seasons is used to make them behave like adverbs (i.e. they modify an adjective, verb, another adverb, etc.) They are used to say “in” a season or “during” a season, e.g. Весно́й расту́т цветы́. “Flowers grow in spring.” They are still underlying nouns, however, and may be modified with adjectives, e.g. Про́шлой весно́й роди́лся сын. “My son was born last spring.”

вре́мя су́ток Time of day
су́тки 24 hour day, day and night (always plural)
у́тро morning у́тром (inst)
день afternoon, day днём (inst)
ве́чер evening ве́чером (inst)
ночь night но́чью (inst)
сего́дня today     pronounced as: [сево́дня])
вчера́ yesterday
за́втра tomorrow
сейча́с now

info   The instrumental case of the times of day also behave like adverbs. They are used when you want to say “in” or “during”, e.g. Он встаю́ ра́но у́тром. “He gets up early in the morning.” These forms can be combined with other words related to days: сего́дня ве́чером “tonight”, вчера́ но́чью “last night”, за́втра днём “tomorrow afternoon”.

Кака́я сейча́с пого́да? How’s the weather?

In order to ask what the weather is at the current moment, you can simply use the phrase: Кака́я сейча́с пого́да? “How is the weather right now?” The interrogative pronoun како́й (what kind of) has feminine endings because it agrees with the feminine noun пого́да (weather). It is also possible to use the interrogative adverb как (how?) instead of ‘како́й.’

You can replace the word сейча́с (right now) with other words as well, as listed in the following examples.

Кака́я сейча́с пого́да? What’s the weather like right now?
Кака́я сего́дня пого́да? What is the weather like today?
Кака́я пого́да была́ вчера́? What was the weather like yesterday?
Кака́я пого́да бу́дет за́втра? What’s the weather like tomorrow?
Кака́я пого́да в Росси́и зимо́й? What’s the weather in Russia like during the winter?
Как у вас/тебя́ пого́да? How’s the weather where you are?
Как там на у́лице? How’s (the weather) outside?
Как на у́лице ле́том? How’s (the weather) outside during summer?

Common Vocabulary

The most common way to describe the weather conditions is to use an adverb. Adverbs alone may constitute an entire sentence in Russian: “Я́сно.” (It is clear). Note that in these sentences, “it is” is always understood before the adverb (Russian doesn’t use the present tense form of ‘быть’ “to be”). It is also possible to use the adjective equivalent of an adverb, but they can only be used to modify a noun, as in я́сная пого́да “clear weather”; я́сный день “clear day.”

Below is a list of the most common and basic vocabulary words to describe the weather. The adverbs (end in -о) are listed in bolded text above the adjectives. Note that it is more common to use a the verb идти́ (to go) with the nouns дождь (rain) and снег (snow) to say “It is raining/snowimg”

hot жа́рко
rain Идёт дождь.
It is raining.
warm тепло́
fog тума́нно
cool прохла́дно
cool, chilly
snow Идёт снег.
It is snowing.
cold хо́лодно
frost моро́зно
clearclearm я́сно
humid вла́жно
sunny со́лнечно
stuffy ду́шно
overcast па́смурно
cloudy, overcast
dry су́хо
cloudy о́блачно
damp сы́ро
damp, wet
wind ве́трено

exclam   The most common way to say “it is raining” or “it is snowing” is to use the third person singular verb form идёт (from ‘идти́’ “to go”) with the nouns дождь (rain) or снег (snow). This is method is also used to say “it is hailing”: идёт град. In order to say “it was raining/snowing” use the past tense verb: шёл. In order to say “it will be raining/snowing” use бу́дет or бу́дет идти́.
Идёт дождь/снег/град. It is raining/snowing/hailing.
Шёл дождь/снег/град. It was raining/snowing/hailing.
Бу́дет (идти́) дождь/снег/град. It will be raining/snowing/hailing.

If an adverb stands alone in a sentence, “It is…” is understood before it. Therefore, “О́блачно.” means “It is cloudy.” Adverbs are the most common way to simply express the weather because they are so flexible. We can add additional words that specify the time and place of the weather, and the adverb remains untouched by their presence, e.g. Сейча́с о́блачно. “Right now it is cloudy.” These simple adverbs can also be used as questions by simply raising the intonation of your voice (and of course adding a question mark in writing), e.g. Жа́рко? “Is it hot?”

Adjectives are not as flexible as adverbs. They must agree with the noun they modify. They cannot stand alone in a sentence. If you want to use the adjective о́блачный “cloudy”, you will have to choose a noun to modify it. The most common nouns used are пого́да (weather) and день (day).

Below are some phrases that can be used to specify the time and place of the weather condition. Whenever you wish to talk about the weather in a city or country (such as Moscow) you use в + Prepositional Case, e.g. В Москве́… “In Moscow…”, В Нью-Йо́рке… “In New York…”

Сего́дня… Today is…
Сего́дня о́блачно и тепло́. Today it is cloudy and warm.
Сего́дня опя́ть о́чень ве́треный день. Today is a very windy day again.
Сейча́с… Right now it is…
Сейча́с идёт дождь. It’s raining right now.
Сейча́с жа́рко и со́лнечно. Right now it’s hot and sunny.
На у́лице… Outside it is… (lit. On the street it is…)
На у́лице дождли́во и ве́трено. It is rainy and windy outside.
На у́лице о́чень сы́ро. У́тром шёл дождь. It’s really wet outside. It rained this morning.
(Вчера́) бы́ло/была́… (Yesterday) it was…
Вчера́ пого́да была́ весь день па́смурная. Yesterday the weather was cloudy (overcast) all day.
Вчера́ бы́ло вла́жно и ду́шно. Yesterday was humid and stuffy.
(За́втра) бу́дет… (Tomorrow) it will be…
За́втра бу́дет я́сно и тепло́. Tomorrow will be clear and warm.
За́втра бу́дет о́чень холо́дный день! Tomorrow will be a very cold day!
Ле́том тепло́. It’s warm in the summer.
О́сенью прохла́дно. It’s cool in the fall.
Зимо́й хо́лодно. It’s cold in the winter.
Весно́й дождли́во. It’s rainy in the spring.

info   The past tense forms бы́ло and была́ are both possible, however, была́ is only used to agree with the noun пого́да (which may or may not be omitted) as in: Вчера́ (пого́да) была́… “Yesterday the weather was…” бы́ло is used with no subject which gives it the meaning “It was”, as in: (Вчера́) бы́ло… “Yesterday it was…”

There are some nouns that are commonly used to describe the weather. They may be used in place of the adverbs and adjectives listed above (e.g. Сего́дня жара́. “It is hot today./There is heat today.”). However, they are usually used when an adverb or adjective can’t be used (e.g. with verbs).

Below are some nouns that have the same meaning as some of the adverbs/adjectives that we just learned. When these nouns are used by themselves, “It is” or “There is” is understood before them. So if we say: Ве́тер. it means “It is wind(y)” or “There is wind.” This may seem odd for English speakers, but don’t worry — it’s not an incomplete sentence because Russians do not use the present tense form of “to be”. They simply say “X Y” where we would say “X is Y.”

  • На у́лице жара́. It’s hot outside. (lit: There is heat on the street)
  • Про́шлым ле́том стоя́ла така́я жара́. It was so hot last summer. (lit: Such heat existed last summer)
  • Бы́ло хо́лод. It was cold./There was cold.
  • Сего́дня ве́тер. It is windy today./There is wind today.
  • Ду́ет си́льный ве́тер. There’s a strong wind. (lit: A strong wind is blowing.)
  • На у́лице густо́й тума́н. There is a thick fog outside.
  • Тума́н рассе́ялся. The fog has lifted.
  • С утра́ стои́т тума́н. There has been fog since morning.
  • Моро́з. It is freezing. (lit: There is frost.)
  • Вчера́ но́чью был си́льный моро́з. Last night there was a hard frost.

The adjective си́льный (strong) may be used with adjectives and nouns to add the meaning “strong” or “heavy”, as in си́льный снег “heavy snow” or си́льный моро́з “strong/hard frost”.

Extra adjectives

The following adjectives may be used to express how the speaker feels about the weather. They are usually used with the nouns пого́да or день. If it is a sunny day (со́лнечный день) then you could say: Сего́дня пого́да прекра́сная. But if it is a cloudy day (па́смурный день) you can say: Сего́дня пого́да плоха́я. (Today the weather is bad.)

замеча́тельный wonderful
хоро́ший good
прекра́сный beautiful
прия́тный pleasant
плохо́й bad
скве́рный nasty
ужа́сный awful, horrible

Сего́дня хоро́ший день. It’s a good day. (The weather is fine.)
Э́то прекра́сная пого́да! It’s/There is beautiful weather.
Кака́я ужа́сная пого́да! Such awful weather!

Earth and Space Vocabulary

Okay, now it is time to learn some vocabulary related to the earth and space. This is very basic vocabulary that you might already know, but I have given a few example sentences to show you how they can be used in weather conversations.

solntse со́лнце   sun (pronounced as [со́нце])
Со́лнце све́тит я́рко. The sun is shining brightly.
Со́лнце скры́лось за облака́ми. The sun disappeared behind the clouds.
Наде́юсь, что со́лнце ско́ро вы́глянет. I hope the sun comes out soon.
luna луна́   moon
Ско́ро вы́йдет луна́ и бу́дет светло́. The moon will come out soon and there will be light.
nebo не́бо   sky
Како́е глубо́е не́бо! Such a blue sky!
Не́бо покры́лось ту́чами. The sky became covered in storm clouds.
oblako о́блако   cloud (plural: облака́)
Облака́ рассе́ялись. The clouds have cleared.
Со́лнце вы́шло из-за облако́в. The sun came out from behind the clouds.
tuchi ту́ча   rain cloud, storm cloud
Собира́ются ту́чи. Rain clouds are gathering.
luzha лу́жа   puddle
По́сле дождя́ на у́лице лу́жи. There are puddles in the street after the rain.
raduga ра́дуга   rainbow
На не́бе краси́вая ра́дуга. There’s a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

We have learned a lot so far, and we’re only just getting started. It’s now time to learn more about precipitation (i.e. stuff that comes from the sky: rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc.).

Precipation Vocabulary

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply say идёт дождь (it’s raining) or идёт снег (it’s snowing). There are extra vocabulary words that allow you to be more specific about the weather. The following vocabulary words are related to precipation (rain, snow, etc.).

dew роса́ dew
Роса́ обы́чно выпада́ет ра́нним у́тром. Dew usually falls in the early morning.
drizzle Мо́росит (дождь). It’s drizzling.
морося́щий дождь drizzling rain
Идёт си́льный морося́щий дождь. It’s drizzling heavily.
heavyrain ли́вень downpour  (plural: ли́вни)
Идёт си́льный ли́вень. There’s a heavy downpour.
Льёт/лил дождь. It is/was pouring rain.
tstorm гроза́ thunderstorm  (plural: гро́зы)
На у́лице гроза́. It’s storming outside.
Ско́ро бу́дет гроза́. It’s going to storm soon.
гром thunder
Гром греми́т. It’s thundering.
Там гром. There’s thunder outside.
мо́лния lightning
Мо́лния сверка́ет. It’s lightning.
Там мо́лнии. There’s lightning outside.
бу́ря storm
Па́дает снег. Snow is falling.
Снег та́ет. The snow is melting.
снегопа́д snowfall
мете́ль (fem.) blizzard, snowstorm
Вчера́ был си́льный снегопа́д. There was heavy snowfall yesterday.
Доро́гу замело́ сне́гом. The road is covered in snow.
sleet дождь со сне́гом, мо́крый снег sleet
Идёт мо́крый снег. It is sleeting.
ice лёд ice
гололёд black ice
гололе́дица ice-covered ground, black ice
На доро́гах гололе́дица. There is black ice on the roads.
ско́льзко/ско́льзкий slippery, slick
Доро́га о́чень ско́льзкая. The road is very slick.
Места́ми о́чень ско́льзко. It’s very slippery in places.

Кака́я сейча́с температу́ра? What’s the temperature?

Temperature is expressed in Celsius (по Це́льсию) in Russia. If you wish to ask for the temperature in Fahrenheit, you can say: Как перевести́ температу́ру по Це́льсию в температу́ру по Фаренге́йту? “How do you change temperature in Celsius to Fahrenheit?”

In order to ask what the temperature is, you can use the interrogative pronoun како́й (what kind of) or the quantity word ско́лько (how many/much). The former is more common.

Кака́я (сейча́с) температу́ра? What’s the temperature (right now)?
Кака́я температу́ра на у́лице? What’s the temperature outside?
Ско́лько гра́дусов (на у́лице?) What’s the temperature (outside)?

The temperature is expressed using a cardinal number and may be followed by the noun гра́дус (degree). There are three different constructions used to express degrees above or below zero. They are all common and interchangeable. If you don’t use one of these constructions, then it will be expected the degrees are above zero, e.g. два́дцать гра́дусов +20°C.

  • вы́ше/ни́же нуля́   above/below zero degrees,
  • тепла́/моро́за   of warmth/of frost
  • плюс/ми́нус   plus/minus.
ноль/нуль гра́дусов zero degrees
+5° пять (гра́дусов) вы́ше нуля́ five degrees above freezing
пять (гра́дусов) тепла́
плюс пять (гра́дусов)
пять (гра́дусов)
-5° пять (гра́дусов) ни́же нуля́ five degrees below freezing
пять (гра́дусов) моро́за
ми́нус пять (гра́дусов)

exclam   Nouns in Russian take the genitive singular case (гра́дуса) after numbers 2-4 and the genitive plural case (гра́дусов) after numbers 5 and above. Therefore: 2° два гра́дуса, 5° пять гра́дусов, 10° де́сять гра́дусов.


info   There are two nouns with the meaning “zero”: ноль and нуль. Both are interchangeable and correct, but нуль more specifically refers to “zero degrees (freezing point)”, whereas ноль usually refers to digits such as games scores.

Сейча́с два́дцать гра́дусов вы́ше нуля́. Right now it’s 20° above zero.
Сейчас нуль. Right now it’s zero degrees.
Про́шлой но́чью бы́ло де́сять гра́дусов моро́за. Last night was ten degrees below zero.

Термо́метр пока́зывает 0° (нуль). The thermometer is at zero degrees./The thermometer says it is zero degrees.
Температу́ра подни́мется вы́ше 30° (тридцати́ гра́дусов). The temperature will rise above 30° Celsius.
Температу́ра упадёт ни́же нуля́. The temperature will drop below zero.

Extra Vocabulary

Small units

дождева́я ка́пля rain drop
гра́дина hail stone
снежи́нка snowflake
вспы́шка мо́лнии flash of lightning
уда́р гро́ма clap of thunder


бура́н snowstorm, blizzard
за́суха drought
наводне́ние flood
торна́до tornado
урага́н hurricane
циклон cyclone

Прогно́з пого́ды  Weather forecast

Below are some words used on television and websites/magazines.

clear переме́нная о́блачность partly cloudy (variable cloud cover)
о́блачно с проясне́ниями cloudy with clearings
преиму́щественно ясно predominately clear
малоо́блачно very little cloud cover
небольша́я о́блачность light cloud cover
значи́тельная о́блачность significant cloud cover (i.e. a lot, but not total overcast)
clear о́блачно cloudy
расту́щая о́блачность increased cloud cover (i.e. the sky is becoming more cloudy)
clear дождь rain
возмо́жен дождь chance of rain
мо́рось, и́зморось drizzle
небольшо́й дождь light rain
clear времена́ми дождь occasional rain, periods of rain, showers
кратковре́менные дожди́ scattered showers
ли́вни strong showers
clear гроза́ thunderstorm(s)
clear дождь со сне́гом, мо́крый снег sleet
clear снег snow
небольшо́й снег light snow

2 thoughts on “Погода (Weather)

  1. It’s interesting how there seem to be many people fascinated with the Russian language! Luckily for me, I learned it since I was small because my parents always watched Russian TV – I still go through some lessons like this to make sure I don’t forget it

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