Weather is what the temperature
precipitation (snow, rain, etc.), wind, and
humidity (moisture in the air), clouds, etc. are
like on any one day. Climate is a
long-term view of weather. For example, if you
want to know the weather in Santa Barbara today,
you could look outside, use tools like a
thermometer, a barometer, a wind speed meter, etc.
Or you could look it up on a site like: weather
I'm writing this, it's 62F in Santa Barbara. Here
in Milwaukee, it's 17F.
Obviously our weather is different today. But
any particular day could be a lot colder or warmer
than usual. Climate is a description of what
weather is usually like. You can look up the
average temperature and precipitation for just
about anywhere in the world at this site:
I can see that the average temperature in
Santa Barbara in February is 53.8 F. Here the
average is 23 F. These long-term patterns are
what we call climate. Santa Barbara has a
Climate is caused by a lot of things, but
mainly how close you are to the equator, your
elevation, and how close you are to the ocean.
Milwaukee is farther from the equator than Santa
Barbara, so it's colder here in winter. Neither
Santa Barbara nor Milwaukee are very far above sea
level, but if you go up in elevation, it tends to
be colder. Having the ocean right near Santa
Barbara keeps the city warmer in winter and colder
in summer. That's because water holds its
temperature longer than air does. If you go
over the Santa Ynez mountains you will notice that
the weather at say, Lake Cachuma may be colder in
the winter and warmer in the summer than Santa
Barbara. That's because Lake Cachuma is more
isolated from the ocean. Take a look at a globe
and see if you can predict what the climate would
be like in different places.
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