Extreme weather and natural disasters

Following on from last time, let’s see what vocabulary we’d need if the weather got a little rougher.

  • storm: عاصفة (ʿāṣifah)
  • thunderstorm: عاصفة رعدية (ʿāṣifah raʿdīyah)

    • thunder: رعد (raʿd)
    • lightning: برق (barq) OR صاعقة (ṣāʿiqah)
  • monsoon: ريح موسمية (rīḥ mawsamīyah, literally “seasonal winds)
  • flood: طوفان (ṭūfān) OR فيضان (fayaḍān)
  • tornado: إعصار (iʿṣār)
  • blizzard: عاصفة ثلجية (ʿāṣifah thaljīyah, “snow storm”)
  • hurricane (tropical cyclone): زوبعة (zawbaʿah)
  • sandstorm: عاصفة رملية (ʿāṣifah ramlīyah)
  • drought: قحط (qaḥṭ) OR جفاف (jafāf)
  • volcano: بركان (burkān) OR جبل النار (jabl al-nār)

    • volcanic eruption: ثوران بركاني (thawrān burkānī)
  • earthquake: زلزال (zilzāl)
  • tsunami: تسونامي (tsūnāmī)
  • avalanche: انهيار ثلجي (inhiyār thaljī)
  • landslide: انهيار أرضي (inhiyār arḍī)
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طقس (weather)

Let’s look at some basic weather-related vocabulary. Obviously some of these phenomena aren’t going to be easily encountered in most of the Arab-speaking world, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, right?

  • weather: طقس (ṭaqs) in the abstract, but جو (jaww) if you’re talking about specific weather)

    • sun: شمس (shams); “sunny” is مُشمِس (mushmis) or شامس (shāmis)
    • clouds: غيم (ghaym), one cloud is غيمة (ghaymah); “cloudy” is غائم (ghāʾim) or مغيم (mighayyim)
    • rain: مطر (maṭar); “rainy” is ممطر (mumṭir)
    • fog: ضباب (ḍabāb); “foggy” is ضبابي (ḍabābī)
    • snow: ثلج (thalj); “snowy” is مُثَلَّج (muthallaj)
    • hail: برد (barad), a single hailstone is بردة (baradah)
    • wind: ريح (rīḥ); “windy” is رَيِّح (rayyiḥ — aren’t Arabic short vowels just the best?)
    • breeze/gust: نسيم (nasīm)
  • temperature: حرارة (ḥarārah), “heat”; “degree of temperature (heat)” is درجة الحرارة (darajat al-ḥarārah)

    • cold/cool: بارد (bārid)
    • warm: دافئ (dāfiʾ)
    • hot: حار (ḥār)
  • humidity: رطوبة (ruṭūbah)

    • humid: رطب (raṭb)
    • dry: جاف (jāf)

“How’s the weather?”: كيف الجو (kayf al-jaww) or كيف الطقس (kayf al-ṭaqs)

“It’s sunny”: الجو مشمس (al-jaww mushmis); adapt for other conditions

OR alternatively you can use دنيا or “world” instead of جو or “weather,” like so:

“It’s sunny”: الدنيا مشمس (al-dunyā mushmis); again, use whatever word describes the right condition

“It’s raining”: يمطر (yumṭiru)

“It’s snowing”: يثلج (yathliju)

“It’s cold today”: الجو بارد اليوم (al-jaww bārid al-yawm)