Consistent, prevalent weather patterns over long periods of time are known by the term "climate." Weather is the state of the atmosphere's moisture, humidity, sunshine, cloudiness, temperature, fog, frost, hail and wind speed at any moment. Climate is a statistical average of these factors over long periods, usually 30 years.Continue Reading
Climate is more predictable than weather, which can change in a matter of minutes or even seconds if it suddenly begins raining, is suddenly cloudy or the temperature drops with a wind gust. Climate can be predicted more consistently than weather because it is defined by long-term averages. For example, it can be expected to snow in winter and rain in spring in the northern latitudes of the United States. Similarly, in New Mexico and Arizona, summer rains come during what is known as the monsoon season.
While climate gives some predictive ability to meteorologists, weather conditions vary widely in any region and season. For example, the extremely hot summer of 2011 in the United States did not necessarily mean subsequent summers were hotter than normal. In fact, in July 2014, many places from the Great Lakes to the Deep South saw the coolest temperatures on record. The climate was consistent with previous decades, however, in that these areas were many degrees warmer on average than they had been in the winter seasons.Learn more about Weather & Tides
Some ways that animals adapt for the seasons include migration, hibernation and physical changes that help them survive the differences in the weather. The changes vary by species and environment.Full Answer >
The weather changes due to factors like gravity, sunlight, topography, oceans and the movement of air affecting the atmosphere. The atmosphere can be changed through several forces that are both terrestrial and extraterrestrial.Full Answer >
As of November 2014, the National Weather Service website has three ways to check the snowfall of a particular area, including the Snow and Ice section of the National Climatic Data Center, local climate weather reports, and national snow and ice charts. Each portion of the NWS's website delivers snowfall data in a different way.Full Answer >
Some facts about monsoons include that they commonly occur in the summer and they are characterized by hot, rainy weather. Monsoons are the seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing winds in a region. They occur in Western Africa, Asia and Australia, as well as parts of the American South.Full Answer >