What is the difference between Weather and Climate

What are Weather and Climate? Difference between Weather and Climate?

Along with the change of weather conditions, human activity and lifestyle are also changed. When the word ‘weather comes, the term ‘climate’ also appears. Many still have the confusion that, is weather and climate is the same or not? What is Climate? What is Weather? What are the similarities and differences between Weather and Climate, if any have? Let’s answer all the questions one by one.

The weather reflects short-term conditions of the atmosphere, while climate is the average daily weather for a long period of time in a certain location. You can think of it this way: Climate is what you expect and the weather is what you get. As weather record includes high temperature, heavy rainfall so climate record also includes extreme values.

Definition of Weather

The daily set of atmospheric conditions of a specific place is called weather. Weather can change from minute to minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Weather includes brightness of the sun, wind, visibility humidity, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, heat waves, sleet, freezing rain, etc. Weather is the set of atmospheric conditions at any particular point, at night or the whole day.

Definition of Climate

The average atmospheric conditions of a particular region over a period of time (30 years or more) is termed climate. Atmospheric conditions include temperature, pressure, wind speed, humidity, etc.

Climate conditions differ one part of the planet and another, like Africa’s Sahara has much hotter and drier climate than South America’s Arizona River basin and Alaska’s rocky coast.

Sahara Desert
Sahara Desert (Credit: Wikimedia)

Difference Between Weather and Climate

1Day to day measure of atmospheric elements at a particular area is called Weather.The average summation of atmospheric elements in a place over a long period is called Climate.
2Weather is the short-term measurement of atmospheric elements so it can change with minutes, hours, days, and seasons.Climate is the average of atmospheric elements over a long time. So, the change can be observed after every 3-4 decades.
3The weather of a particular region can impact the lives of humans, transportation, communication.In a geographical location, the climate has had an impact on industries, agriculture, vegetation, communication, transportation, and habitation for a long time.
4Weather is measured in an observatory, so the observatory must place for which is to be measured.Climate is predicted based on previous data, artificial intelligence coupled with human knowledge.
5To measure whether no statistical method is required.Statistical method is extensively used to predict climate while calculating summation and average of temperature and pressure values.
6Weather can be described as fair, unfair, excellent.Climate is classified as Tropical climate, Marine climate, Desert climate.
7The study of weather is called Meteorology.The study of climate is called Climatology.

Forecasting Weather and predicting Climate

  1. Weather forecasters forecast what can be temperature tomorrow or over next seven days? Is there any possibility of rain or thunderstorm tomorrow? Weather forecasters observe current temperature, air pressure, humidity, winds and then forecast the best condition can have tomorrow. it totally depends on measurement the skill of forecasters.
  2. In climate prediction, artificial intelligence, supercomputer, are used coupled with meteorologist’s/climatologist’s wide experience. Day by day it is becoming difficult to predict the future atmospheric conditions. It is because the climate data of previous decades is not as effective as before.

Frequently asked questions on Weather and Climate.

How do you know the climate is changing?

The measured records by instrument and the physical and biological change we have been experiencing suggest the climate is changing, being different from the previous trends.  
Scientists suggest climate is changing rapidly and we have to take decisive steps unless it will go out of control. As the result of climate change -the glacier is retreating, rainfall is intensifying in some regions, drought is also affecting in some places, the shifting pattern and timing of migratory birds also changing. All are the indication of rapid climate change.

2. What are different Climate types?

The Equator region is naturally hot because of direct overhead sunlight. The South and north pole are covered with glaciers because they experience the least direct sunlight. In the later 1800’s German climate Scientist Wladimir Koppen classified climate into categories, they are;
1. Tropical Climate
2. Dry Climate
3. Temperate Climate
4. Continental Climate
5. Polar Climate

Quiz on Climate and Weather

Q1. Which of the following weather element is measured in millibars?

  1. Air pressure 2. Rainfall 3. Temperature 4. Wind Speed

Q2. Which of the following phenomenon is not considered to be a consequence of climate change?

  1. Earthquake 2. Droughts 3. Rising of ocean level   4. Rising in average atmospheric temperature.

Q3. A scientist who studies the weather is called:

  1. Environmentalist 2. Speleologist 3. Meteorologist 4. Climatologist.

Answer: 1. Air pressure 2. Earthquake 3. Meteorologist

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