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Difference Between Weather and Climate


Weather and climate are meteorological terms that are related but not interchangeable. While weather defines the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time for example, a day or week, it is climate that defines the conditions of the atmosphere over longer periods like an entire year or decade.

Some scientists define climate particularly as averages of weather collected over a period of 30 years at a certain place or in a particular region.

If it’s raining on a particular day then we are talking about the weather but if it’s raining over a season for several years then we are talking of the climate. Weather can change from hour to hour or, day to day and season to season. Climate can change over years.

The elements of both weather and climate, as measured at a meteorological station, are temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness of the sun, visibility, wind and atmospheric pressure. The elements of weather also include rain, hail, thunderstorm, and floods etc which are short-term events.

A simple way to differentiate weather and climate is to remember that climate is what you expect according to averages of atmospheric conditions collected over several years at a place. On the other hand, weather is what you get, on a particular day ‘“ whether in accordance or not with the forecast for the day. A weather forecast is based on climate studies. So, an example of climate is a ‘very cold winter’ while that of weather is a ‘very cold day’.

Climate change is now one of the biggest problems facing the human race. Small but significant changes in weather all over the world are an indication of the overall damage that is being done to the environment, by irresponsible human activities, thereby effecting negative climate changes. For example, glaciers are melting and places are experiencing snow where it has not been recorded ever before. Both weather and climate reflect the health of the environment.

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