Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere in a region and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variations, whereas climate is defined as statistical weather information that describes the variation of weather at a given place for a specified interval. They are both used interchangeably sometimes but differ in terms of the length of time they measure and what trends affect them.
Weather is the combination of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind. In popular usage, climate represents the synthesis of weather; more formally, it is the weather of a locality averaged over some period (usually 30 years), plus statistics of weather extremes.
In a 2012 survey, a majority of Americans blamed global warming (or "climate change") for erratic weather patterns in the country, especially heat waves.
|Definition||Describes the average conditions expected at a specific place at a given time.A region's climate is generated by the climate system, which has five components: atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, land surface, and biosphere.||Describes the atmospheric conditions at a specific place at a specific point in time. Weather generally refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity|
|Components||Climate may include precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms over a long period of time.||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, heat waves and more|
|Forecast||By aggregates of weather statistics over periods of 30 years||By collecting meteorological data, like air temperature, pressure, humidity, solar radiation, wind speeds and direction etc.|
|Determining factors||Aggregating weather statistics over periods of 30 years ("climate normals").||Real-time measurements of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, precipitation, cloud cover, and other variables|
|About||Climate is defined as statistical weather information that describes the variation of weather at a given place for a specified interval.||Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variation|
|Time period||Measured over a long period||Measured for short term|
Time factor in climate and weather
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather refers to the atmospheric conditions of a specific place over a short period of time, usually 24 hours. Climate refers to the average atmospheric conditions over relatively long periods of time, usually 30 years. In other words, when one talks about the climate, then they're talking about the pattern over a long term while when weather is referred to then the conditions of short term are being spoken of.
Components of weather and climate
There are several aspects to 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, heat waves and more. Climate may include precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms over a long period of time.
Changes in climate vs. weather
Weather may 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 and changes in overall climate tend to be gradual.
Forecast and Measurement
Weather forecasts are made by collecting data that describe the current state of the atmosphere (particularly the temperature, humidity and wind) and using physically-based mathematical models to determine how the atmosphere is expected to change in the future. The chaotic nature of the atmosphere means that perfect forecasts are impossible, and that forecasts become less accurate as the range of the forecast increases. Climate is measured based on the weather statistics. A general period of 30 years is taken to forecast climate of an area as patterns over a period of time have to be observed. The standard classification of the earth's climatic zones is mainly based on the annual cycles of temperature and rainfall. The time frame makes it possible for weather forecasts to usually be easier and more accurate than forecasts about climate change.
Human impact and changes on climate and weather
There is extensive evidence that human activity such as agriculture and industry results in inadvertent weather modification. Acid rain, caused by industrial emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, adversely affects freshwater lakes, vegetation, and structures. Anthropogenic pollutants reduce air quality and visibility. The effects of inadvertent weather modification over the long term may pose serious threats to many aspects of civilization, including ecosystems, natural resources, food and fiber production, economic development, and human health. Climate change caused by human activities that emit greenhouse gases into the air is expected to affect the frequency of extreme weather events such as drought, extreme temperatures, flooding, high winds, global warming and severe storms. Global Warming is often euphemistically referred to as “Climate Change”.
Study of climate vs. study of weather
Climatology is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences. Meteorology (from Greek: μετέωρον, meteoron, "high in the sky"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting.