Though weather and climate both meteorological terms sense similar in meaning, the nature and functions of these atmospheric concepts are considerably different from each other. The major difference between weather and climate is that weather is an atmospheric phenomenon largely considered over a short period of time, especially, in a day. Whereas, to be called climate, such atmospheric conditions need to be unchanged over some decades.
What is weather?
Weather is an atmospheric phenomenon originated from the sequential pattern of different elements like, temperature, humidity, wind, sunlight, rain etc. It is subject to change according to the change in the order of respective elements. Simply, weather cannot be permanent or static, and thus, beyond prediction.
“Meaning and definition of climate”
On the other hand, climate is a well established pattern of atmospheric elements over a large period of time. Here, the sudden and random change in the sequential pattern is less likely. So, it can be predicted for a certain duration in any place in the world. According to the degree and intensity of major climatic elements, the world is divided in the various climatic zones such as, monsoonal climate, equatorial climate, savanna climate, polar climate etc.
In order to take deep insight of weather and climate, proper understanding of atmospheric elements is indispensable. So, let’s see some important atmospheric elements…
Temperature is a master factor, as well as major elements of weather. It is also a major determinants of humidity, pressure, and wind system. For definition, it is just degree of hotness or coolness. Whenever the degree of temperature rise or fall, the other elements are also subject to change in the same manner. Thermometer instrument is preferred to measure the rise and fall of degree.
You might have read or listened about the low and high pressure atmospheric conditions. It is made up of atmospheric gases which have certain weight. Due to this weight, it exerts pressure on the surface of the earth in accordance with weight and surface area. Pressure is instrumental in formation of pressure gradient, wind system, temperature inversion, and adiabatic phenomenon. It is measured in the barometer instrument.
Rainfall is a product of certain complex mechanism that range from evaporation, cloud formation to condensation and rain formation. There are different forms and types of rain or rainfall. It may be drizzle, snowfall or hailstorm. On the basis of origin, it can be c as Orographic, frontal, and convectional rainfall. Rain gauge instrument is used to measure the degree of rain.
Humidity is another important element which is instrumental in the formation of convection currents and clouds. It incorporates a lot of latent heat from atmosphere and get released at the time of condensation. On the basis of water vapor content in the air, humidity is classified as relative, absolute, and specific humidity. Hygrometer is used to measure the humidity in the atmosphere.
Wind is a movement of mass of gasses in the defined direction. But, it’s speed, as well as direction is determined by various factors like, rotation and revolution of earth, temperature and pressure difference, etc. On the basis of time, winds are classified as, planetary, or permanent winds, seasonal winds, and local winds. Winds play greater role in the maintaining the global heat balance.
Cloud is nothing but condensed mass of water vapor in the higher atmosphere. Clouds are also classified on the basis of height and size. For example, cirrus clouds are located at greater heights with feathery look; whereas, stratocumulus is located at lesser level. These clouds are instrumental in different forms of precipitation.
These are some important major elements attributed to the origin of weather and climate…..