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Difference between Weather and Climate

We are aware of terms like weather, climate, temperature, etc. But we do not know the exact meaning and difference between weather and climate. We have always thought that weather and climate are the same things. But it is not so. Weather is different from climate. Well, the weather is defined as the condition of the atmosphere wherein cold, heat, rain, dryness, etc., is counted. The weather can be sunny for a minute and cloudy in the next minute. The changes in weather are instant. For instance, in Kedarnath, the weather changes instantly. The change in the instant weather led to the Kedarnath tragedy in the year 2013.

On the other hand, the climate is defined as the average weather that is given by the weather department for a long period of time. Climate changes systematically, and a particular department can give the report based on the systematic and seasonal change in the climate. For instance, in the winter season, one can expect snow in Shimla. This is how the report about climate is given by the Indian Meteorological Department.

Both weather and climate are different from each other in certain aspects. So, let us look at some of the differences regarding the same.

1. The simple changes in the weather of a particular area that is recorded and informed on a daily basis is called weather. On the other hand, the climate is defined as the average weather given by the Indian Meteorological Department. Climate includes systematic and statistical information about a particular area over a period of time (30-40 years).
2. Weather can change in a minute. As stated above, the weather can be sunny a minute and rainy the next minute. The weather can change instantly due to any reason. The average weather is recorded over the years. The climate might remain the same for several years. That is why climate has systematic information of a particular place over the years.
3. Since weather can change instantly, there are certain atmospheric elements that affect weather change. These atmospheric elements include:
  • Humidity
  • Wind
  • Precipitation
  • Pressure
  • Temperature
  • Storm
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Cloudy
These are the factors or elements that affect can affect weather and change them immediately.
On the other hand, climate change takes place over a period of time. Therefore, there are two or three elements that determine climate change. These elements are:
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Wind
Only these three elements determine climate change. Climate changes over a particular period of time, say 20-30 years. For instance, in Manali, one can expect snowfall for almost six to seven months.
4. The change in weather affects the day-to-day routine of people like transportation, agriculture, occupation, etc. The change in the climate of a particular area affects the livelihoods of people, the industries, etc.
5. Weather conditions change frequently in minutes, hours, days, etc. Climate changes take place over a period of time, i.e., 30-40 years.
6. The change in weather recorded is called meteorology. Thus, the Indian Meteorological Department informs the people regarding the weather changes. The study of climate is called Climatology. The changes in the climate are recorded by several institutes of climate studies.
These institutions predict, record, and inform the people regarding the upcoming climate changes.

So, these are some of the fundamental differences between weather and climate. Weather and climate differ in several aspects. Out of these aspects, the primary difference between them is the duration. The weather changes within a short period of time, i.e., minutes, hours, or days, whereas the climate changes over a long period of time (30-40 years). Well, there are six types of climate. Let us discuss them further.

  1. Tropical: The tropical regions include humid zones. The average temperature of the tropical regions is around 65 degrees. The precipitation of these regions varies from 50-60 inches. The tropical regions include South America, South Africa, and South Asia. Tropical areas have diversified plants and animals.
  2. Polar: As the name suggests, Polar Regions are cold and dry. The South Pole is one of the important examples of the Polar Regions. No plants grow in such areas, and very few animals are found here, namely polar bears, whales, penguins, etc.
  3. Temperate: These regions are said to be neutral, i.e., they have cold winters and mild summers. North America and Europe are the primary examples of these regions. The plants found here are maple, oak, willow, etc., and the animals found are birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc. Flora and fauna are richly diversified.
  4. Arid: Arid zones are like tropical zones, i.e., they are hot and humid throughout the year. Central Asia, Australia, and North Africa experience the arid climate. Only shrubs are found in such regions. The animals found here are reptiles, insects, and predatory animals.
  5. Mediterranean: The Mediterranean climate includes very mild winters and dry/ hot summers. Southern California is the prime example of this kind of climate. Small shrubs can be seen in these areas, along with snakes, rodents, and hawks.
  6. Tundra: As the name suggests, the regions having the tundra climate are very cold. Mountains are examples of this. The plant life is quite low in these areas, and animals like foxes, wolves, bears, squirrels are found here.

So, these are the six kinds of climate. The changes in the above-mentioned regions happen after a very long period of time. Well, apart from the types of climate, there are five types of weather.

  1. Sunny: Sunny weather is seen in the Southern areas. The weather is hot, humid, and dry.
  2. Cloudy: When the sunlight is nowhere to be seen, and the clouds gather and cover the sky, the weather is said to be cloudy.
  3. Windy: Windy weather can be observed in any part of the country. Well, it is interesting to note that windy weather is helpful in generating electricity through windmills.
  4. Snowy: Well, as the name suggests, snowy weather means the regions wherein there is snow all the time. Places like Shimla, Mussoorie, etc., experience snowfall in the month of December and January.
  5. Rainy: After the cloudy weather, a particular region is set to have rain. Rains help in agriculture and make the weather mild and cool. Rainy weather can be observed in any part, but Mumbai, Mawsynram, Cherrapunji, etc., experiences a very high amount of rainfall.

So, these are the five kinds of weather. The weather can change at any point in time. That is why we have departments which tell us about the change in weather. Weather and climate are different from each other. The points of differences are given above. The fundamental difference between them is of duration, i.e., the duration within which the weather changes is short, whereas the duration within which the climate changes is long. Thus, both weather and climate differ in their own sense, and both have varied effects upon the atmosphere and environment.

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