179 - What's the Weather, Everyone?

In a previous lesson I talked about changing your Facebook into Japanese so you can have exposure to the language every day.

Something else I do every day is check the weather. In Kyoto, the weather is famous for turning on a dime; right now it is boiling hot during the day and so humid at night you can wring your shirt out. But it’s OK, it will get better soon... in like, November >.<

I have a bookmark on my computer that brings me to the tenki.jp weather page. 天気(てんき)means “weather.”
If you live in Japan, I highly recommend checking this site out; it’s simple and much more reliable than weather.com.

Even if you don’t live in Japan, switching your main weather site to Japanese could be a huge help. If it’s something you look at every day, you will soon get used to all the words and phrases that describe the weather. For Americans, it is a bonus because while we are learning Japanese, we can also learn Celsius, which was a huge challenge for me when I moved here!

Here is a typical weather page on tenki.jp:

The top blue banner states the city and ward, along with the date and time:

きょうと し さきょう く の ぴんぽいんと てんき
Kyoto City, Sakyo Ward’s pinpoint weather.
Literally : “Kyoto + city + Sakyo + ward + の + pinpoint + weather”

Next the four orange buttons on the top:

きょうあす の てんき
Today and tomorrow’s weather

さん じかん てんき
Three hour weather

いち じかん てんき
One hour weather

とおかかん てんき
Ten day weather

The one I clicked on shows the weather in 3 hour increments; under the two headings; 午前(ごぜん)meaning “morning” and 午後(ごご) meaning “afternoon.”

After that, the black columns on the left show:

気温(きおんTemperature (in Celsius)
降水確率(こうすいかくりつChance of precipitation
降水量(こうすいりょうPrecipitation Amount
風向(ふうこうWind Direction
風速(ふうそくWind Speed

Next, underneath the little illustrations, it gives a simple description of the weather.

Note: There are also rain descriptions such as 弱雨 “light rain” (using the kanjifor weak), and 強雨 “strong rain.”

Lastly, underneath the Wind Direction row, it has the kanji for the direction:


Note: When the kanji for the cardinal directions are in a kanji compound, you will use the 音読み(おんよみ) reading. 北=ほく、南=なん、東=とう、and 西=せい.

So when listing two separate directions, the readings become:



So that is the weather forecast on tenki.jp. It is pretty straightforward and simple.
Now that you know what the weather will be like, you probably want to tell your friends. Here are some simple ways to talk about the weather:

きょう の てんき よほう は あめ だ。
Today’s weather forecast is rain.
Literally: “today + の + weather + forecast + は + rain + だ”

てんき よほう では あした は はれ です。
The weather forecast for tomorrow is sunny.
Literally: “weather + forecast + では + tomorrow + は + sunny +です”

てんき よほう によると らいしゅう は ゆき になる。
According to the weather forecast, it will snow next week.
Literally: “weather + forecast +によると+ next week + は + snow + become”

A simple lesson today, but learning weather words is incredibly useful in everyday life. I am pretty sure the subject of weather has come up in every single conversation I have ever had with a Japanese person. So keep checking the weather and start practicing talking about it in Japanese; believe me, you will use this stuff!

This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor:

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