8 Difference Between Weather And Climate

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What Is Weather?

Weather can be described as a set of conditions in the atmosphere in one location for a limited period of time- such as throughout the day, at night or at any particular point during the day. There are generally many components of weather. Weather includes sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, steady rains from a cold front or warm front, excessive heat waves etc. 

Weather satellites mostly help with tracking conditions that are happening right now and forecasting weather in the near future. However, they also collect information that helps us monitor a region’s climate over time. The atmospheric conditions that influence weather are always fluctuating, which explains why the weather of any place is ever changing. Weather could be sunny, cloudy, rainy, foggy, cold, hot, windy, stormy, snowing, etc.

What You Need To Know About Weather

  • Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place over a short period of time.
  • Weather conditions change from hour to hour and even moment to moment for a single point, neighborhood, town or city on Earth’s surface.
  • Changes in climate result to changes in weather patterns including extremes.
  • Weather statistics are real-time or most recent records.
  • The weather of a particular location can impact the day to day human life activities such as transportation, communication etc.
  • Components of weather include: Sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, steady rains from a cold front or warm front, excessive heat waves etc. 
  • Over time, the weather forms the climate and influences the environment (soil, hydrology, plant and animals), and economic viability of our human systems.

What Is Climate?

Climate can be described as the average condition of the atmosphere over a long period of time such as across a span of 30 years or more, for a given location. In weather forecast, when they talk about climate, they are looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost and hail storms and other conditions of weather such as soil temperature and moisture, that occur over a long period of time in a particular place. In fact, climate can be thought of as an average of weather conditions over time.

Climatic conditions vary between different regions of the world and influence the types of plants and animals that live there. There are generally five main types of climates on Earth:

  • Tropical: In this hot and humid zone, the average temperatures are greater than 64°F (18°C) year-round and there is more than 59 inches of precipitation each year.
  • Dry: These climate zones are so dry because moisture is rapidly evaporated from the air and there is very little precipitation.
  • Temperate: In this zone, there are typically warm and humid summers with thunderstorms and mild winters.
  • Continental:  These regions have warm to cool summers and very cold winters. In the winter, this zone can experience snowstorms, strong winds, and very cold temperatures—sometimes falling below -22°F (-30°C).
  • Polar: In the polar climate zones, it’s extremely cold. Even in summer, the temperatures here never go higher than 50°F (10°C).

What You Need To Know About Climate

  • Climate represents the aggregate weather conditions of a certain geographical location over a long period of time.
  • Climate is influenced by interactions involving the sun, ocean, atmosphere, clouds, ice, land and living organisms.
  • Climatic conditions change after a very long period of time.
  • Climatic statics are generally derived from historical records of several decades.
  • The climatic conditions significantly affect industries, agriculture and livelihoods of the inhabitants.
  • Components of climate include: Precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity and phenomena such as fog, frost and hail storms.
  • Weather and climate are not independent. The averages of daily weather are used to monitor climate.

Difference Between Weather And Climate In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON WEATHER CLIMATE
Description Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place over a short period of time.     Climate represents the aggregate weather conditions of a certain geographical location over a long period of time.
Alternative Description Weather is what you get, like a cool day in a certain period of the month. Climate is what you expect, like a hot summer.
Types Weather could be sunny, cloudy, rainy, foggy, cold, hot, windy, stormy, snowing, etc.   There are five main types of weather: tropical, dry, temperate, continental and polar.
Components Sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, steady rains from a cold front or warm front, excessive heat waves etc.    Precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity and phenomena such as fog, frost and hail storms.
Factors Influencing Changes in climate result to changes in weather patterns including extremes.   Climate is influenced by interactions involving the sun, ocean, atmosphere, clouds, ice, land and living organisms.  
Change Weather conditions change from hour to hour and even moment to moment for a single point, neighborhood, town or city on Earth’s surface.   Climatic conditions change after a very long period of time.  
Statistics Weather statistics are real-time or most recent records.   Climatic statics are generally derived from historical records of several decades.  
Effect The weather of a particular location can impact the day to day human life activities such as transportation, communication etc.   The climatic conditions significantly affect industries, agriculture and livelihoods of the inhabitants.  

Conclusion

In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day and season-to-season. Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space. An easy way to remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.  Despite their differences, weather and climate are interlinked.  As with 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.