I am trying to understand the difference between the words Klima and Wetter. In my language (Italian) they can be both translated as "weather".
But something makes me guess that in German is not exactly the same. I would like to know how to use them correctly.

I guess that maybe when you talk about the weather forecast, you would use Wetter and maybe when you describe the weather in a certain area in general you would say Klima.
Am I right? Is it correct?

  • 3
    Nenn einen Klimaforscher Wetterfrosch und er wird Dir den Unterschied erklären. (Call a climate researcher weather man and he will explain the difference to you.)
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 19:53
  • 2
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 22:36
  • It's not precisely an answer to your question, but since it's the same in English, here's a rather cute explanation of the difference: youtube.com/watch?v=cBdxDFpDp_k -
    – Mac
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 8:37
  • Da quello che so io, la differenza tra "il clima" e "il tempo" spiegato nella risposta di Em1 esiste anche in italiano. (AFAIK the difference between "climate" and "weather" explained in Em1's answer exists in Italian as well)
    – Arc676
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 10:29
  • @Wrzlprmft as a Klimaforscher who studied Wetterkunde as well - this hits home XD
    – Sean
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 15:16

3 Answers 3


You're right.

Wetter describes the weather condition at a particular time.

Das Wetter ist heute gut.
Das Wetter soll nächste Woche nicht so gut sein.

Klima (climate) describes the regular pattern of weather conditions (insolation, temperature, humidity, ...) of a particular place.

Das ganze Jahr über herrscht ein mildes Klima.
Im Winter dagegen herrscht ein raues Klima

As in English, Klima also describes the atmosphere in a particular place


Man spricht von arktischem, tropischen, mediterranen und gemäßigtem Klima und meint damit verschiedene Arten, wenn man das Wetterverhalten über große Zeiträume betrachtet. Wetter ist bezogen auf einen oder ein paar Tage. Man spricht von Klimaerwärmung, die in allen Klimazonen spürbar sind, d.h. in den tropischen Gebieten wird es noch heißer im Durchschnitt und in der Arktis schmelzen die Gletscher, wodurch die Meeresspiegel steigen.


One should differentiate between Klima/Wetter/Atmosphäre.

As @Em1 already explained, they are two different names for the same thing over different times/instances.

When we talk about the state of the outside now/in few days/predicting, we then talk about weather (das Wetter).

When we talk about the state of a city/country/region/planet over a period of time, we talk about climate (Das Klima).

When we talk about the feelings of some places, speaking of something else than weather/cold-hot/sunny-cloudy, like when there is some discussion about something, and the people start shouting, here we talk about Atmosphäre, then you could say:

Die Atmosphäre ist angespannt. (The situation is tense).

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