In a country as large as Norway, spanning over 2500 km in length, with rugged coastlines, stunning fjords, striking mountains and thousands of different-sized islands, the weather is many things, but never boring. In some places it rains almost constantly, so much so you’d think you somehow ended up in England, while in other places you’ll find yourself shovelling snow for months on end. It’s no wonder Norwegians have such a varied vocabulary when it comes to discussing mother nature’s whimsical tantrums, be that bright sunlit days or storms so bad you start wondering if Thor himself has descended upon Earth. To make it a bit easier for you, we put together a little guide so you can also start discussing (or complaining about) the weather like a proper Norwegian.
A beloved Norwegian saying
Let’s start this lesson with the most common saying you will ever hear in Norway when this particular topic comes up. Remember this expression, as it might come in handy in the future.
- Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær. – There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate/bad clothing.
If you need help remembering this, you can learn to sing it the way one of Norway’s most popular bands, Ylvis, does it in their song, The Cabin, while finding out a bit more about Norwegian hyttekultur (cabin culture).
Basic weather-related vocabulary
- et vær – weather
- et uvær – bad weather (as you can see, despite saying there’s no such thing as bad weather, they do have a very specific word for those really horrible, rainy, windy, stormy days)
- et værvarsel – weather forecast
- en varmegrad – when it’s above 0°C (literally warm degree)
- en kuldegrad – when it’s below 0°C (literally cold degree)
- et solskinn – sunshine
- solfylt – sunny
- et regn – rain
- et duskregn – drizzle
- et hagl – hail
- et sky – cloud
- overskyet – cloudy
- en vind – wind
- en storm – storm
- en torden – thunder
- et lyn – lightning
- en snø – snow
- en snøstørm – blizzard
- en regnbue – rainbow
- en hetebølge – heatwave (not that you will encounter these very often in Norway)
- en tåke – fog
- isete – icy
How to talk about the weather in Norwegian?
- Hvordan er været? – How is the weather?
- Hvor mange grader er det? – What is the temperature?
- Solen skinner og det er 15 varmegrader. – It is sunny and there are 15°C.
- Det er fint/deilig/flott vær. – The weather is nice/lovely/good.
- Det pøser ned. / Det pøsregner. – It is pissing down.
- Det høljer ned. – It’s raining buckets.
- Vinder hyler. – The wind is howling.
- Det blåser fælt. – The wind is blowing really hard.
- De lovte sol. – The promised sun (in the weather forecast).
- De meldte regn. – They predicted rain.
- Det har sluttet å regne. – It stopped raining.
- Det er overskyet. – The sky is overcast.
- Det snør. – It’s snowing.
- Det er iskaldt. – It’s freezing cold.
- Det tordner/lyner. – There’s lightning/thunder.
If you’re interested in learning some dialectal words for different weather-related phenomena in Norwegian, check out this article. And if you have a little look at this blog post where we discuss the seasons in Norwegian, you can find a few words that you can connect with the words and expressions that you have learned today. If you would like to learn more Norwegian, check out our Online Norwegian courses – we provide you with everything you need yo master the language.