What's the difference between climate and weather?

Weather is what's happening in the atmosphere on any given day, in a specific place. Local or regional weather forecasts include temperature, humidity, winds, cloudiness, and prospects for storms or other changes over the next few days.

Climate is the average of these weather ingredients over many years. Some meteorologists like the saying that "climate is what you expect; weather is what you get," memorable words variously attributed to Mark Twain, Robert Heinlein, and others.

In practical terms, the climate for a particular city, state, or region tells you whether to pack short-sleeved shirts and shorts or parkas and mittens before you visit, while the local weather forecast tells you if you'll want to wear the parka by itself or with an extra sweater today.

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