What is the Difference Between Weather and Climate?

by admin on June 26, 2008

The difference between weather and climate is that weather happens over the short term and climate happens over long term. For example, in Canada, summer officially starts on June 22 and we are expecting the weather to get warmer and the days to become longer. I live on the west coast of British Columbia. In Vancouver, we get more rain than in any other area in Canada because we are in the rain shadow of the Coastal Mountain Range. Similarly, Seattle is in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountain Range and they experience a lot more rain than in the rest of the United States. These are examples of climates for our regions. Our expectation of what weather should be occurring is the climate and what actually happens day to day is weather.

The most common climate classification system is the Koppen system which divides climates into Rainforest climates, Monsoon climates, Savannah climates, Desert and Steppe climates, Mediterranean climates, Humid subtropical climates, Oceanic climates, Sub Polar climates, Hot Summer Continental climates, Hemiboreal climates, Boreal or Taiga climates, Continental Subarctic climates, Tundra climates and Ice Cap climates.

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