Climate

Definitions

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) defines "climate" as follows:


The slowly varying aspects of the atmosphere–hydrosphere–land surface system. It is typically characterized in terms of suitable averages of the climate system over periods of a month or more, taking into consideration the variability in time of these averaged quantities. Climatic classifications include the spatial variation of these time-averaged variables. Beginning with the view of local climate as little more than the annual course of long-term averages of surface temperature and precipitation, the concept of climate has broadened and evolved in recent decades in response to the increased understanding of the underlying processes that determine climate and its variability.




The term "weather" is distinct from "climate" and is defined by the AMS as follows:

The state of the atmosphere, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. As distinguished from climate, weather consists of the short-term (minutes to days) variations in the atmosphere. Popularly, weather is thought of in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind.