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13 Weather Kids: Climate vs. Weather

Posted at 1:58 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 16:59:00-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Climate vs. weather. What exactly is the difference? To put it simply: climate is what you expect, and weather is what you get.

Let’s break it down: weather is, by definition, the state of the atmosphere at a certain place and time. Weather is characterized by short-term changes in the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere closest to the ground where all weather happens! The day-to-day changes that determine the weather are things like temperature, humidity, air pressure, and wind speed and direction.

A location’s climate, on the other hand, is what the weather is like over a long period of time, determined by taking the average over several years. In Las Vegas, we base our climate statistics off 30 year averages. Averages we look at to determine climate are factors such as rainfall, both yearly and from season to season, and the hottest and coldest temperatures we see over the course of the year.

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains it well: the weather tells you what to wear each day while but climate determines what kind of clothes you have in your closet in general.