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Weather and Climate

Weather and Climate

Introduction: What are a few words that describe the weather where you are right now? Maybe it is cold outside. Perhaps it is raining. Is it cloudy or windy? These are all terms that describe current atmospheric conditions, or weather. Weather conditions can change suddenly or linger for days.

How would you describe the general weather pattern for where you live? Is it normally arid with very little precipitation? Maybe your region has dry and rainy seasons. When you describe long term weather patterns you are describing climate. Changes in climate can only be identified by studying weather trends over many years.

Weather is the atmospheric conditions at a specific place and time. Climate describes weather patterns at a place over a long period of time.

Directions for This Lesson: In this lesson, you will learn the difference between weather and climate. First, try the practice questions to determine what you already know. Then, watch the video lesson and try the activity to further explore climate and weather.


Required Video:

Observe changes in climate with NASA's Climate Time Machine. Click on the image to launch the interactive. Then, be sure to select and play each of the four topics.

Extend your learning with the worksheet and additional resources.

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