Weather Expressions in Latin

Some of the more common impersonal expressions in Latin are those that describe the weather.

  • grandinat, it’s hailing
  • pluit, it’s raining
  • ningit, it’s snowing
  • fulgurat, there’s a lightning bolt! (A&G have ‘it lightens’)
  • tonat, it thunders
  • rōrat, there’s dew on the grass

Note that these verbs can take subjects (Iupitter tonat) but they don’t have to. A&G are incomplete here, so let’s try to extrapolate on other ways the Romans might have describe the weather. I’m working with the assumption that these impersonal expressions are much like those of modern Romance languages (hace calor, fa caldo, it’s warm). The Latin expressions ought to cover the same range, right?

  • calidum est, it’s warm
  • frigidum est, it’s chilly
  • hūmidum est, it’s humid
  • nubiliōsum est, it’s cloudy
  • partim nubiliōsum est, it’s partly cloudy
  • ventōsum est, it’s windy
  • lūcet, it’s sunny
  • partim lūcet, it’s partly sunny

The impersonal list in A&G technically covers ‘verbs expressing operations of nature and the time of day,’ so here are two more entries in the list:

  • vesperāscit, it grows late
  • lūcīscit hōc, it grows light

The Essential AG: 208a