Atmosphere And Weather

Understanding the Difference between Weather and Climate



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When one speaks of the weather and climate, you are liable to confuse the two once in a while due to the close proximity of their parameters. Such confusion would not be noticed by everybody, but among the educated, you would sound like a dire fool treading too deep in a lake you know nothing about. The two must be differentiated accordingly, so pay close attention.

The weather is the state of the atmosphere over a given region at a specific, short period of time. This state incorporates a range of factors, including how windy it is, how much and what kind of precipitation is falling, and what atmospheric pressure exists in the area at the time. These all converge to form the day's weather, which could be a warm, sunny day, a freezing one with snow, or one with tornadoes and thunderstorms.

Climate is the average state of weather conditions over a given region for a specified, long period of time. The time required to get an accurate climate picture is generally agreed to be thirty years. The averages of precipitation and temperature tend to be the most widely used factors in climate determination, however winds, cloudiness, days with sunlight, and biotic indicators have also been used.

It is that simple: weather is the state of the atmosphere on about a day-long period, while climate is the average of weather events over a given region for a long period. Now you can venture with confidence in your next atmosphere-related conversation knowing that you understand the difference between weather and climate.

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