We’ve all had some flavor of the weather small talk: “So, that’s some weather we are having today” or “Boy, is it hot out today” or “Can you believe how windy it is”. You may have also heard “It is so cold out today - I thought the planet was supposed to be getting warmer”.
Climate and weather are often thought to mean the same thing. They are closely related but have different time frames.
Weather is about what is happening when you look out the window on any given day. You listen to your favorite radio station or check an app on your phone to know what to wear each day and whether an umbrella will be a smart choice to have under your arm when you leave the house. Weather can change quickly. and we've all experienced the days that start out clear and sunny only to end with clouds and rain.
Climate is the study of weather over a much longer period of time and changes slowly. It looks at averages for such measurements as temperature, precipitation, humidity and wind. These averages are taken over decades. Climate is the weather you would expect to see outside your window at a certain time of year in a certain place. Regions have their own climate and when all the climate data for all the regions is averaged, that is the global climate.
As the global climate changes, we can expect to see more extreme weather such as hotter heat waves and stronger storms.