Using hay, está, or an impersonal verb to talk about the weather

In Spanish, one of the impersonal expressions we use to talk about the weather is hay:

Hay sol.It's sunny.

Hay niebla.It is foggy.

Hay relámpagos.There is lightning.

Hoy hay tormenta.There is a storm today.

Hay truenos.There is thunder.

Hay nubes hoy.There are clouds today. (It's cloudy)

Note that the structure in Spanish and English are different for lots of these weather expressions, for example, we say "Hay niebla" (Literally "There is fog") but in English this is normally expressed with "It's foggy" (using the adjective: foggy). So, it is important to be aware of these differences as we can not use the literal translation sometimes.

There are some other phrases which use está:

Está soleado.It is sunny.

Está nublado.It is cloudy.

El cielo está despejado.There are clear skies.

Bear in mind that hay will be followed by a noun (in Spanish), while está will be followed by an adjective (in Spanish).

  • Hay truenos (truenos thunder [noun])
  • Está soleado (soleadosunny [adjective])

There are also phrases which can use either está or an impersonal verb:

Está lloviendo.It is raining.

Está nevando.It is snowing.

Llueve.It is raining.

Nieva.It is snowing.

For other expressions that use "hace" instead see also:

Using hace to talk about the weather

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Examples and resources

Nieva.It is snowing.
El cielo está despejado.There are clear skies.
Está nevando.It is snowing.
Hay niebla.It is foggy.
Hay relámpagos.There is lightning.
Hay truenos.There is thunder.
Está soleado.It is sunny.
Llueve.It is raining.
Hoy hay tormenta.There is a storm today.
Hay nubes hoy.There are clouds today. (It's cloudy)
Está nublado.It is cloudy.
Está lloviendo.It is raining.
Hay sol.It's sunny.
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