Q:

How are weather and climate alike?

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Quick Answer

Weather and climate are both terms used to describe temperature, atmospheric conditions and precipitation. The only difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather reflects short-term changes within the atmosphere, while climate is determined by averaging daily and seasonal weather over a long period of time.

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Full Answer

Weather and climate are very similar terms, and the difference between them is a common source of confusion. Weather is used to define daily and seasonal changes that may take place day by day or minute to minute. Climate is determined by averaging the weather conditions of an area or region over a period of many years to create a picture of atmospheric trends and patterns.

Weather conditions can change drastically within a very short period of time, while climate changes and variations may take decades or centuries. While the overall conditions of a climate are very stable, the weather that makes up different climates can vary drastically, depending upon location. The weather and conditions experienced in an arctic climate are very different than what is experienced in a tropical climate. All of the regional climates comprise the global climate, which is a complex atmospheric system that spans the entire globe.

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