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Climate and Weather: Information and Education

What is the difference between Weather and Climate?

Weather corresponds to short term changes in the atmosphere and climate is long term changes in weather conditions. A weather forecast tells us the most about today's or tomorrow's weather variables such as temperature, precipitation or winds.

Climate is average weather conditions for long term (> 30 years) periods. Weather of a specific place changes every minute, every hour and every day while climate can only be summarized as the average of long-term weather of a large area.

An easy way to distinguish between weather and climate is that the climate decides how many sweaters you have in your closet but weather decides which sweater you need to wear today.
(Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/story1.html )

"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get" – Mark Twain



Significant Climate Events in 2010, (Source NOAA/NCDC)