Korean Expressions to Describe Weather (part 2) Posted by on Sep 30, 2019 in Korean Language, Vocabulary

I  lived in Seattle for a decade. Summer in Seattle was beautiful, but it was always too short. Looking back, wet and cold weather might have affected my moods in Seattle. I have recently moved to a warmer place, hoping that I wouldn’t have to go through wet and cold winters anymore. I have been feeling blessed with warm and dry weather here until last week. The weather in this valley changes so quickly. Thunderstorms, with pouring rain, cloudy skies and dropping temperatures disappointed me, but most of all it reminds me of Seattle weather.


image by Pixabay


Winter in Korea can be harsh, too. It is not as wet as Seattle, but it is usually freezing cold. Winter in New York reminds me of Korean winters. Instead of complaining about cold and wet weather, I might as well share some Korean expressions to describe colder weather. You will be surprised how many ways you can describe the varieties of rainy and cold weather in Korean.


I have listed the expressions by the gradual changes from summer to winter climate. Let’s start with rain.


  1. 비가 내리다 (bee-gah-nae-ree-dah: it rains.) 비 is raining.


  1. 비가 쏟아진다. (bee-gah-sso-dah-jin-dah: it pours.) 쏟다 is a verb meaning to pour.


  1. 비가 보슬보슬 온다. (bee-gah-bo-seol-bo-seol on-dah: it is drizzling) 보슬보슬 indicates soft and gentle rain rather than 추적추적 (jeok-choo-jeok: drizzling). To me, 보슬보슬 reminds me of soft rain in the springtime.


  1. 비가 추적추적 온다. (bee-gah-choo-jeok-choo-jeok-on-dah: it is drizzling.) According to a dictionary, 추적추적means gentle rain. I would use 추적추적 for raindrops in fall.


  1. 안개비 (anh-gae-bee: foggy rain, misty rain) 안개 is fog.


  1. 소나기 (so-nah-gee: a shower)


  1. 장대비 (jang-dae-bee: a heavy rain) 장대비 usually pours during 장마철 (jang-mah-chul: the monsoon season) in Korea.


  1. 시원하다 (si-won-hah-dah: it is cool and nice.) 시원하다 is pleasantly cool temperature.


  1. 선선하다 (sun-sun hah-dah: It is cool and crisp) Koreans usually use 선선하다 in the beginning of fall.


  1. 쌀쌀하다 (ssal-ssal-hah-dah: it is little chilly.)


  1. 싸늘하다 ( ssah-nul-hah-dah: it is chilly.)


  1. 공기가 차다 ( gong-gee-gah-chah-dah: the air is chill. ) 공기 means air. 차다 is a verb meaning be cold.

image by Pixabay


  1. 춥다 (choop-dah: it is cold.) 춥다 is a basic verb that you can express cold climate. In Korean, you add adverbs to this verb to describe the degrees of cold.


  1. 으슬으슬 춥다 (eu-seol-eu-seol-choop-dah: it is shivering cold.) 으슬으슬 means shivering. This adverb reminds me of bleak and shivering cold.


image by Pixabay


  1. 무진장 춥다 (moo-jin-jang-choop-dah: it is awfully cold.) 무진장 means extremely.


  1. 서리가 내리다. (seo-ree-gah-nae-ree-dah: it is frosty.) 서리 means frost.


  1. 눈이 펑펑 내리다. (noon-ee-pung-pung-nae-ree-dah: it snows heavily.)  눈 means snow. 펑펑 is an adverb meaning a lot or heavily.


  1. 꽁꽁 얼게 춥다. (ggong-ggong-uhl-gae choop-dah: it is freezing, frigid or ice cold.) 꽁꽁 is an adjective that describes the hardness/thickness of frozen ice. 얼다 is a verb meaning freeze.


  1. 얼어 죽다 (uhl-uh-jook-dah: freeze to death cold) 죽다 means to die.



  1. 얼굴이 얼얼하다 (uhl-gool-ee-uhl-uhl-hah-dah: it is cold enough to make your face numb.) 얼굴 means a face. I remember my face used to feel numb during winters in Korea. 얼얼하다 is a verb meaning numbing.  You can say 손이 얼얼하다. (son-ee- uhl-uhl-hah-dah: : it is cold enough to make your hands numb.)


  1. 혹독한 추위 (hok-dok-han-choo-wee: severe cold) 혹독한 means severe. 매서운 (mae-seo-woon: fierce) is a synonym of 혹독한.



  1. 추위를 타다. (choo-wee-rul-tah-dah:to be sensitive to cold) The elders are likely 추위를 타다.


  1. 살을 에는 추위 (sal-eul-ee-nun-choo-wee: piercing cold, biting cold) I think this expression, 살 (sal: flesh)을 에다 (ea-dah: cut out/ scrape out) is an intermediate level. Let’s hope that we all don’t need to go through 살을 에는 추위this year.


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About the Author: FlyHighOyster

Hi everyone, I was born and raised in Seoul, S. Korea. I have lived in Seattle for a while and I am traveling the world with my husband since 2016. It is my honor to share Korean culture with you all. Don't be shy to share your thoughts and comments! :) Talk to you soon. HJ