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Weather refers to local phenomena that include such things as wind, rain, snow, fog, clouds, and temperature. Weather at times can be extremely violent as in the cases of hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, and blizzards which are often considered as natural disasters. Weather is a short term phenomenon as seen in the statement:

“Don’t like the weather? Wait 15 minutes and it will change.”
This is, of course, an exaggeration, but it does indicate that weather conditions are temporary and transitory.

Climate, on the other hand, is a long term phenomenon and is more than local. Climate refers to the trends in weather patterns over an extended period of time. In general, most scientists summarize the difference between weather and climate this way: weather happens daily and climate happens over longer periods (at least 30 years).

When scientists talk about Global Warming, they are talking about climate. Please note: it is Global Warming and while it does impact local weather patterns, cold weather at your house in the winter does not mean that Global Warming is not real even if it is record-setting cold.

No single weather event, regardless of how extreme, can be said to be a direct effect of climate change. Climate change, however, can be linked to extreme weather trends.

Larry West, in an article "Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather?" writes:

There have always been extreme weather events. What's different now is the increasing frequency of so many different kinds of extreme weather.

What we're seeing is not the end result of climate change, but the leading edge of an extreme-weather trend that will continue to worsen if we fail to act.

How do you feel about weather and climate? What’s the weather like where you are? What evidence of climate change have you observed?

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