Earth Science

Atmospheric Processes

Weather versus Climate

Study Tip
Think of the weather as the short-term atmospheric conditions of an area, and the climate as the long-term atmospheric conditions of an area.

Weather

  • Weather describes what the atmosphere is like at a specific time and place.
  • Weather is made up of factors including air temperature, pressure, fog, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and wind.
  • Most of the time, the weather is different every day.
Study Tip
Think of the weather as the short-term atmospheric conditions of an area, and the climate as the long-term atmospheric conditions of an area.

The Climate

  • The climate of a region is the long-term average weather of a particular spot. It is often more predictable than the weather.
  • The climate usually changes slowly, and is usually affected by factors like the angle of the Sun and the amount of cloud cover in the region.
Hawaii
Hawaii is often suitable for vacations because the climate of this region is desirable, although at times the weather might be bad!
Atmosphere
In places where the weather is unstable, the status of the atmosphere can change in a matter of minutes.
Concept Check
  • What is weather? What factors make up weather?
  • What is climate?