Weather and Climate

Weather is the state of atmosphere at any particular place or time. It can be hot, cold, windy, cloudy, humid, etc. Weather generally changes from day to day. All weather conditions are caused by the Sun.

Climate refers to all weather conditions for a particular place over a long period of time. Climate of a place depends on the location of that place on earth.

The factors, which affect climate, are:

  • Latitude

  • Height above Sea Level

  • Distance from the Sea

  • Wind Direction

  • Direction of Mountain Ranges

  • Ocean Currents

  • Nature of Soil Cover and Vegetation

The spherical shape of earth causes its different parts to be heated unequally. Regions near the equator heat up more, as they receive direct rays from the Sun.

Earth’s atmosphere is heated by the heat absorbed by gas molecules. The density of air decreases as we go higher. Temperature decreases with the increase in altitude.

The heating up of air results from heating up of earth’s surface. Land and water get heated in different ways.

Land is solid and gets heated by the process of conduction. On the other hand, water gets heated by the process of convection.

Winds blowing out from the equator are warm. Winds blowing out from the polar regions are cold. Temperature of wind affects the area it blows in.

Direction of mountain ranges greatly influences the climate of a place. Mountains act as a barrier to the movement of winds. Mountains bring about contrasts in rain. The windward side of mountains receives heavier rainfall than the leeward side.

Water is driven in oceans in huge river like currents. These are caused by the uneven heating of earth. Ocean water is warmer in the equatorial regions, whereas those near the polar regions are cooler.

The type of soil found at a particular place affects the temperature of that place. Vegetation helps retain soil moisture. Plants reduce temperature by releasing moisture into the atmosphere. This is the reason behind the coolness of parks and forests.

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