Climate, Weather, and Atmosphere

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Closer Look

Visit the U. S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) webpage and learn more about the difference between weather and climate.

The terms “weather” and “climate” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are important differences between them.

Weather refers to the day-to-day changes in the atmosphere on a local basis. Weather is made up of a combination of factors, such as temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and wind. Alternately, climate describes the average, as well as the extremes in weather conditions in a regional location over long periods of time. Changes in climate over long periods of time are detected by climatologists, who study patterns in weather and identify long-term trends.