It is very common to talk daily about weather and climate, to refer to the meteorological phenomena of a certain place. However, we often use them as synonyms, using them incorrectly since these two terms have different meanings.
The Earth is surrounded by the atmosphere, a layer of gas. It contains a series of phenomena that condition the weather at a given time and the climate over a long period of years . It is one of the most studied phenomena throughout the history of mankind and is considered of great importance for the development and proper functioning of certain activities. It conditions our way of dressing, our homes, etc.
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1. What is weather
? 2. What is climate?
3. Differences between weather and climate.
What is atmospheric
weather Atmospheric weather, also called meteorological, is the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place , which can range from one day to seasonal periods. It is the external manifestation of the processes that take place in the atmosphere. This factor depends on the formation of 6 elements:
- Atmospheric pressure
- cloud cover
It refers to when we say that the day is cloudy, with precipitation, hot , etc. There are several factors that determine the weather, such as the movement of air masses, anticyclones and cyclones, solar energy, etc. For that reason it is so changeable and diverse.
In order to measure these variables and phenomena , networks of local meteorological stations, meteorological satellites and ship stations are used . The instruments that serve us to determine the meteorological time are:
- Anemometer , with which we can record the speed of the wind.
- Barometer , used to measure atmospheric pressure.
- Rain gauge, we use it to measure and collect rainfall, during a given period, in the form of rain, snow or hail.
- Thermometer , informs us of the temperature at a given time. At least the maximum and minimum temperature of one day is recorded.
- Vane , indicates the direction of the wind.
Meteorological forecasts are made in order to determine and predict the atmospheric weather during a future interval and in a certain place. This activity has been carried out for thousands of years, evolving its techniques over the years, and is extended to the whole world. The forecasts are very important, for example for the planning of civil aviation to organize flights, for agriculture, commerce, transport, etc.
Meteorological forecasts are made by collecting data provided by meteorological stations, located in strategic places and connected to each other , and by information collected by meteorological satellites, such as geostationary satellites and drones.
Know what we talk about when we refer to weather. | Craig Whitehead.
What is climate
Climate is the average weather in a given place . It is the prevailing weather at a specific location over a long interval. It is defined for a month or a season of the year and is carried out by calculating the average atmospheric time of 30 years, that is, analyzing the meteorological elements: temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloud cover, wind and precipitation.
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The climate of a place depends on 6 factors:
Corresponds to the vertical distance between a point on Earth in relation to sea level. Depending on the height of the relief, the climate is substantially modified . This phenomenon occurs mainly in the intertropical zone, where it is the most important phenomenon that modifies the climate.
Latitude determines the angle at which the sun’s rays radiate and the length of day and night. By receiving more direct solar radiation, more heat is provided to the Earth . These radiations vary according to the movements of rotation and translation.
3. Relief orientation
It refers to the shape of the earth’s crust. For the climate, depending on how the mountain ranges are arranged, they condition the incidence of solar radiation , creating two types of mountain slopes: sunny and shady.
currents Ocean currents are responsible for transferring a large amount of water and, therefore, heat with thermal energy . For example, the Gulf Stream is very important in bringing warm water to the Atlantic coast of Europe, making it warmer than it would be for latitude.
5. Distance to the sea
It is one of the most important factors when defining the climate of an area.That a place is close to the sea, causes extreme temperatures to moderate and there to be more humidity if the winds come from the sea towards the continent. In addition, the sea breeze softens the heat during the day. If instead we are far from the sea, the thermal amplitude is accentuated, with cold winters and hot summers.
6. Planetary and seasonal wind direction
It refers to the movement of air masses according to differences in atmospheric pressure . Depending on the area in which we find ourselves, there is more incidence of one type of wind or another, thus defining the climate of the area.
To have more information about the types of climate, you may be interested: The 9 types of climate (warm, temperate and cold)
Differences between weather and climate
It is quite common to confuse climate and weather with each other. For this reason, it is important to know how to differentiate them and thus know which of the two we are talking about. The main difference between weather and climate is the period in which the factors that define them are taken into account.
When we refer to the weather at a certain time, for example at 3 pm, we are referring to the weather defined by temperature, rainfall, wind direction, cloudiness, etc., recorded at that time. It is when we talk about atmospheric time or also called meteorological. This tends to change throughout a day, since for example we do not have the same temperature at 9 in the morning as at 9 at night.
We can say that the same day, in different parts of the world, have the same time. For example, it may be that in Madrid, Berlin and London it is raining at the same time, but on the other hand we cannot say that they have the same climate. This is when we refer to climate, when we talk about the same phenomena as the weather but over a long period of years.
In this way, we understand time as a phenomenon that is instantaneous, that changes a lot and is very variable, instead, the climate is more stable, lasting and permanent over the years. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, and climate is the repetition over the years of weather .
The weather in a given place is very changeable, and can vary in a few hours or even minutes. On the other hand, the climate is the typical weather of a certain place and takes into account the average of the meteorological phenomena during 30 years. Although there is only record of the last twocenturies, when all meteorological data began to be tracked and recorded, this information can be supplemented with historical data.
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Vide, JM, & Cantos, JO (2001). Climates and times of Spain (Vol. 43). Publisher Alliance.
San Gil, J., De Rivera, J., & Gonzalez, J. (1986). Atmospheric weather, climate and psychopathology. Sandin B. Recent contributions to Psychopathology. Madrid: Editorial Novamedia.
Tonda-Monllor, EM, & Sebastia-Alcaraz, R. (2003). Difficulties in learning the concepts of weather and climate: the elaboration and interpretation of climograms.