What Is Weather
Weather is driven by air pressure, temperature, and moisture differences between one place and another. These differences can occur due to the Sun’s angle at any particular spot, which varies with latitude. Weather is the mix of events that happen each day in our atmosphere. Weather is different in different parts of the world and changes over minutes, hours, days and weeks. Most weather happens in the troposphere, the part of Earth’s atmosphere that is closest to the ground.
Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location. Human beings have attempted to predict the weather informally for millennia, and formally since at least the nineteenth century. Weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative data about the current state of the atmosphere and using scientific understanding of atmospheric processes to project how the atmosphere will evolve.
Weather and Climate
The average weather pattern in a place over several decades is called climate. Different regions have different regional climates. For example, the climate of Antarctica is quite different than the climate of a tropical island. Global climate refers to the average of all regional climates. As global climate changes, weather patterns are expected to change as well. While it is impossible to say whether a particular day’s weather was affected by climate change, it is possible to predict how patterns might change. For example, scientists predict more severe weather events as climate warms. Also, they predict more hot summer days and fewer extreme cold winter days. That doesn’t mean that there will be no more winter weather, in fact, large snowstorms might even be more likely in some areas as less cold air is able to carry more water with which to make snowflakes.
Climate vs. Weather
Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks. People generally think of weather as the combination of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind. We talk about changes in weather in terms of the near future: “How hot is it right now?” “What will it be like today?” and “Will we get a snowstorm this week?”.
Climate is the weather of a place averaged over a period of time, often 30 years. Climate information includes the statistical weather information that tells us about the normal weather, as well as the range of weather extremes for a location.