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The Climate and the Weather

I’ve explained the big difference between the climate and the weather before and it is easy to understand the difference between the two. However, it bears repeating because so many people still don’t understand that there is a difference. With the news media and others pushing agendas of control based on this difference and using fear as a motivator, it is important that people understand the difference.

The weather

The weather is what is happening in real time or close to it. It is composed of a number of facets, none of which is any more important than the others since they all interrelate. Those facets are air pressure, relative humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction, and precipitation or cloud cover. 

All of these things make up the weather. Again, none of these are more important than the other, though people tend to focus on only one or two of the facets of weather. This paints a very unclear picture.

For example, if you ask a person what their weather is like at the moment, you might get one of these responses:

“It is snowing.”

“It’s raining hard.”

“It is hot and humid.”

“It is very dry.”

“It’s cold.”

All of these refer to aspects of the weather, but none of them give a real idea of what the weather is. It also says little about how the weather is changing. In most places in the world, the weather doesn’t stay the same from one week to the next, so it is continually changing.

The climate

The climate is an average of all the facets of weather over a long period of time, usually a century or more. Very few of us live that long. What’s more, few of us have a good memory of what was happening even a few years ago, on this date. Still, the climate is an average.

This is a huge difference between weather and climate. For example, for a little over a decade, the weather in Montana has ended up with short, hot, dry summers with frequent thunderstorms. The winters have been long, cold, and exceptionally snowy, with frequent high winds. Since this has been the case for only about a dozen years, it is a weather trend.

This year, we are very close to the normal climate or averages over the past century for all facets of weather. People here talk often talk about it as being ‘hotter than normal’, but truth is, it isn’t at all hotter than normal. We just had colder than normal weather for this time of year for long enough that people don’t remember what ‘normal’ or average is.

Here is the problem with thinking that climate and weather are the same things. In my location, today’s temperature is supposed to reach 90 F or above. That would be about 5-15 degrees above normal. Does that mean that the climate has gotten hotter? Absolutely not. There have been quite a few times in the past century that it was far more than 5-10 degrees cooler than the average, which cancels out the above average temperatures. In fact, last year on June 11, our high temperatures didn’t even reach 60 F. That is well below the average.

Did last year’s temperatures mean that the climate has gotten cooler? No, for the same reason. The weather we have today will only impact one day out of the past 100 years, so it is relatively unimportant. If it reached 120 F today, it still wouldn’t mean a lot because the weather of every June 11 for the past century is what makes up the climate. 

Put slightly differently, let’s say that it did reach 120 F today. Let’s also say that this is 30 degrees above normal. Since the average is for 100 years, this means that the most that this could impact the climate is by three-tenths of a degree F (30 divided by 100). 

  • Do you understand the big difference between weather and climate?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Not entirely
    • I don’t see what difference it makes
  • Are you fully convinced that there is catestrophic global warming?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I lean one way or the other, but I will make up my own mind based on the facts

What do you think?

4 points
Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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