Weather is the conditions that occurred very recently or are currently happening. The current temperature, dewpoint, relative humidity, cloud cover and precipitation are examples of weather.

Climate describes the typical weather a location will have. For a good climate data set, at least 30 years of data for a location is needed. Climate also includes what type of weather extremes that can be expected for a location. Normal high and low temperature, typical monthly rainfall, most accumulation of snow in a year and record lowest temperature recorded for each month are examples of climate.

For each of the 10 statements below, classify them as weather or climate. Scroll to the bottom of this page for the answers:

1. It snowed 5 inches last night

2. It has not rained this month yet

3. Typically rainfall in June will be under 1 inch

4. This winter should be colder than normal

5. The barometric pressure is falling

6. There is a severe thunderstorm watch for the local area

7. It has never gone above 100 F in the month of May

8. The low temperature last night was 10 degrees above normal

9. The skies are clearing

10. Katrina was the strongest hurricane to hit New Orleans


1. Weather; recent weather event of snow

2. Weather; no weather has produced rain this month

3. Climate; reference to typical conditions and a value of typical rainfall

4. Climate; compares the expected winter to normal conditions

5. Weather; recent weather change

6. Weather; current weather conditions are leading to the potential of severe thunderstorms in the near term

7. Climate; reference to a weather extreme

8. Both; reference to normal conditions, weather in that a recent temperature value is given

9. Weather; current conditions

10. Climate; reference to a weather extreme