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What is the difference between Climate and Weather?

February 20, 2015 12:49 PM |

Climate and weather are often confused by people but these two are quite different phenomena. The difference between the two is a measure of time. Weather is the condition of the atmosphere over a short period of time, while climate is how the atmosphere behaves over relatively longer period of time.

What Weather means

Climate and weatherWeather is simply the condition of the atmosphere over a short period of time, for instance from day to day or week to week. Weather can also change from hour to hour or season to season. We experience different facets of weather once we step outside.

Weather takes into consideration momentary conditions of atmosphere. Most of us think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, speed of wind, direction of wind, cloudiness and the amount/form of precipitation. However, for aviation purpose it also includes visibility and atmospheric pressure.

What Climate means

Climate describes average conditions of the atmosphere over a longer period of time. Scientists often define climate as the average weather for a particular region over a certain period of time, usually taken over 30 years. It could also be referred as an average pattern of weather for a particular region over a sufficiently longer period of time.

To make the terms look easier we can say that climate is what you generally expect, lasting for longer durations i.e. a very hot summer; and weather is what you observe and experience on a routine basis, i.e. a very hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.

 Picture courtesy- NOAA

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