What’s the difference between Weather and Climate?


Weather and climate have totally different meanings. So what is the difference?

Weather is the specific day-to-day conditions of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. It describes the state of the atmosphere with regard to meteorological conditions (variables) such as; wind (speed, direction, calm or stormy), temperature (heat or cold), humidity, atmospheric pressure, visibility (clear, misty or foggy), cloud cover (clearness or cloudiness), and precipitation (rain, snow, hail, sleet, fog, or dew). Weather describes and measures the short-term variations of the atmosphere which can change hourly, daily, and seasonally. Weather keeps changing all day. For example: It was raining today at school. It was raining this morning but by afternoon it is bright and sunny.

On the other hand, climate tells the normal pattern of weather (i.e common, average weather conditions) experienced in a particular area over a long period of time. Climate uses all these average weather conditions over long period of time to describe the weather that a particular region will experience all year round. As such, climate stays much the same year after year and gives a general all year round weather of how hot, cold or wet different parts of the world will be at different times of year. There are different climates around the world and a particular region may experience the four seasons a year – spring, summer, autumn and winter. For example, the climate in the US is warm in the summer but cool in the winter. The Arctic always has a very cold climate.

Hence, the difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather changes on a daily basis. It gives the current atmospheric conditions of a place over a short-term (minutes to weeks). While on the other hand, climate describes the typical weather (state) a location will have over a long period of time (more of a permanent state).