Asked in Meteorology and WeatherClimatology and Climate Changes
What is the relationship between climate and weather?
December 30, 2010 9:01PM
Weather is the current condition. Climate is based on an average weather condition for a specific region or area over a longer time frame.
Weather is limited both geographically and temporally or in other words by place and time, especially the latter.
The simple question: What's the weather like? refers to the present time and the exact location of the person to whom the question is addressed. If the question is modified by the name of a place (What's the weather like in London?) then it may be understood as referring either to the present or to a recent but more general time period, so that the answer may say that it rains a lot, that it seldom snows in Winter but it doesn't get very hot in the Summer either, and so on. The term still refers to the present period. If the question is: What was the weather like? then either it requires modification to specify time and place or they should be understood.
Climate is a summing up of all the weather in a given area over a much longer period of time (sometimes quantified as 30 years). To put it another way, climate is a statistical overview of meteorological data in a given area. The area is typically a continent, ocean area or hemisphere, although terms used to describe climate, such as tropical, mediterranean or temperate, will very often vary within a continent. It may be the whole world, as in the case of global warming and the associated climate change. References are to such things as average temperature, growth seasons and rainfall.