Weather vs Climate, What’s really the Difference?

A simple answer to this question is “Climate is what you expect, the weather is what you get….Let’s dive in more

Both weather and climate refer to local conditions (temperature, rainfall, wind strength, etc.) in a particular location or region, but the main difference between them is a matter of time. “Weather” refers to local conditions on the scale of minutes, hours, days, and even months to years: you can have a particularly wet month, warm winter, or rainy decade. “Climate” is an average of weather conditions over 30 years or more and can be assessed for a single location, large area, or globally. While the weather can change dramatically in a single location from day to day (for example, cold and rainy one day, followed by hot, dry conditions the next day), climate generally changes less quickly because it represents the average of weather conditions over a longer period of time.

What is Weather

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Weather refers to the short-term conditions of the lower atmosphere, such as precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind direction, wind speed, and atmospheric pressure. It could be sunny, cloudy, rainy, foggy, cold, hot, windy, stormy, snowing … the list goes on.

The sun drives different types of weather by heating air in the lower atmosphere at varying rates. Warm air rises and cold air rushes in to fill its place, causing wind. These winds, along with water vapor in the air, influence the formation and movement of clouds, precipitation, and storms.

The atmospheric conditions that influence weather are always fluctuating, which is why the weather is always changing. Meteorologists analyze data from satellites, weather stations, and buoys to predict weather conditions over the upcoming days or weeks. These forecasts are important because weather influences many aspects of human activity. Sailors and pilots, for example, need to know when there might be a big storm coming, and farmers need to plan around the weather to plant and harvest crops. Firefighters also keep track of daily weather in order to be prepared for the likelihood of forest fires. Weather forecasts are also useful for military mission planning, for features of trade, and for warning people of potentially dangerous weather conditions. 

What is Climate

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While weather refers to short-term changes in the atmosphere, climate refers to atmospheric changes over longer periods of time, usually defined as 30 years or more. This is why it is possible to have an especially cold spell even though, on average, global temperatures are rising. The former is a weather event that takes place over the course of days, while the latter indicates an overall change in climate, which occurs over decades. In other words, the cold winter is a relatively small atmospheric perturbation within a much larger, long-term trend of warming.

Despite their differences, weather and climate are interlinked. As with the weather, climate takes into account precipitation, wind speed and direction, humidity, and temperature. In fact, climate can be thought of as an average of weather conditions over time. More importantly, a change in climate can lead to changes in weather patterns.

Climate conditions vary between different regions of the world and influence the types of plants and animals that live there. For example, the Antarctic has a polar climate with subzero temperatures, violent winds, and some of the driest conditions on Earth. The organisms that live there are highly adapted to survive the extreme environment.

By contrast, the Amazon rainforest enjoys a tropical climate. Temperatures are consistently warm with high humidity, plenty of rainfall, and a lack of clearly defined seasons. These stable conditions support a very high diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Difference Between Weather and Climate in Points:

Weather is a short-term condition of the atmosphere.

Climate is a long-term effect of the atmosphere.

Weather conditions are being studied in a specific area at a particular time.Climate is a result of the average of daily weather conditions at a place in a specific time.
The weather might be taken as one condition of the atmosphere at a time.Climate comprises all the weather factors such as atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, cloudiness, wind, and precipitation for 30 years.
Weather is what you regularly expect over a season.

Climate is what the atmosphere behaves over a long period.

The study of weather is essential to know the upcoming condition of the atmosphere.

Study of climate is essential to know its harmful impact on the environment, and our ecosystem to take precautions earlier.

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