Science Course with Ryan Morse: Weather vs. Climate

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Weather and climate. We hear about these terms all the time. Both are closely related, however it is important to know they are not the same thing. 

Weather refers to the short-term (down to the minute) changes in the atmosphere. Weather is what you get. Climate is the long term (over 30 years) average of weather. Climate is what you expect.

Think of weather as what you see outside on any one day. Temperatures could be 60 and sunny or 15 and snowy. It is all still weather. 

Climate may appear on our forecasts during the news when we show what temperature we normally are out for this time of year.  

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There are more simple ways to compare the two. 

For example:

  • Weather is like your mood, climate is your personality. 
  • Weather is a quiz, climate is your final grade. 
  • In sports, weather is the box score, climate is the career average. 

Next time you hear about Climate Change, think of the long-term averages in daily weather changing.

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