If you watch the news in Japan then the weather report will be shown, and although you can guess what’s being said based on what’s being shown it helps a lot to understand it. This post does cover very basic weather vocabulary which might be had with average Japanese people, but it focuses more on intermediate and advanced vocabulary and sentences used in Japanese weather reports.
In How to Read Japanese Newspapers we covered what to expect from newspaper articles but also useful tools like Rikai-chan for Firefox and Rikai-kun for Chrome. These two apps, when turned on, will reveal the reading and English meaning of a kanji or kanji compound when you hover over them. Making them perfect for reading articles and weather reports online.
|Rikkai-kun doing its stuff|
Japanese Weather Report Vocabulary
Just as in English there are different types of weather reports, although in Japanese these include natural phenomenons such as earthquakes and tsunami. The following vocabulary lists are a selection of vocabulary found and focus on more advanced works (rather than “rain” and “wind”).
Different Type of Weather Reports:
概況（がいきょう）- outlook, general situation
防災（ぼうさい）- disaster prevention
気象（きしょう）- weather, climate (more scientific than 天気)
降水量（こうすいりょう）- amount of precipitation
気温（きおん）- atmospheric temperature
風向（ふこう）- wind direction
風速（ふうそく）- wind speed
土砂災害（どしゅさいがい）- landslide disaster
竜巻（たつまき）- tornado, water spout
Weather Specific Vocabulary:
快晴（かいせい）- clear weather
霰（あられ）- hail (under 5mm) or 雹（ひょう）- hail (over 5mm)
落雷（らくらい）- lightening strike
俄雨（にわかあめ）- rain shower
豪雨（ごうう）- torrential rain
暴風雨（ぼうふうう）- storm, rainstorm
There is SO much vocabulary that listing all of it here would not be very useful to most people.
A Memrise flashcard course with all of the vocabulary will be put up this week, and an excel sheet with all the vocabulary will be provided for those who don’t use Memrise.
Real Weather Reports from the NHK
One of the best websites for weather report in Japan is NHK News 気象・災害情報 which covers every element for daily and weekly weather including natural events like earthquakes and the tides. You can also watch news reports on the right hand side under 気象動画, the footage will pop-up in a separate window.
You can also listen to weather reports on NHK News Podcast although these will include other news reports and will be at the end of the podcast.