What is the difference between ‘climate’ and ‘weather’?

Take a look outside the window. Is it bright and sunny or is it raining? Is it a hot day or a cold one? If you are referring to the conditions as they exist right now, then you are talking about the weather. The weather is something that is happening outside right now; it is what we experience every day. On the various news channels, meteorologists give us a weather forecast; they do not provide us with a ‘climate forecast’. The term ‘weather’ is normally used to refer to conditions at a certain time or over a short period of time. What’s the weather like today? What’s the weather like in Hyderabad during the summer? Climate, on the other hand, refers to the average weather in a particular place over a long period of time — usually 30 years or more. Scientists are now talking about the climate change that has taken place. In some places in India, the average temperature is much higher than what it was 40 or 50 years ago.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ – “The Hindu”  on Dec. 18, 2007


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