RyagonIV, technically you're right and I understand that there can't be a word for word translation between Spanish and English all or most of the time, but it's frustrating the way Duolingo chooses to teach us sometimes. As in this example, it is telling us that "hace" is being used to mean "it is", but in other examples it wants us to use it to mean "like". It's hard to remember which one is which when there is not enough consistency.
The verb hacer can have a host of different meaning, just like the verb "do" does in English. Here are the three important ones:
[Someone] hace [something]. - [Someone] is doing/making [something].
Ella hace un pastel. - She is making a cake.
hace [timeframe] - [timeframe] ago
hace dos semanas - two weeks ago
hace [weather phenomenon] - it is [phenomenal]
Hace viento. - It is windy.
Note that for the last item, you use a noun after hace in Spanish, but in English you usually describe it with an adjective.