Defining climate

Taylor Gay


  • The study of earths climate and the factors that cause past, present, and future climate changes.
  • Describes annual variations of temperature, precipitation, wind, and other weather variables.
  • This information combined with recent and long-term can be used by businesses to decide where to put their facilities.


  • The data is complied from meteorological records to describe a areas climate.

  • This data includes daily high and low temperatures, amounts of rainfall, wind speed and direction, humidity, and air pressure.

  • The normals are decided on a period of 30 years

limitations of normals

  • Normals do not describe the weather for one day they are used to tell the climate over long periods of time.
  • Normal only apply for the specific area where the data was collected.
  • Changes in elevation and other factors, such as proximity to large bodies of water, can cause climates to vary.

causes of climate

  • climate varys greatly around the country.
  • the are several reasons for such climatic variations, such as latitude, topography, closeness of lakes and oceans, availability of moisture, global wind patterns, ocean currents, and air masses.


  • the earth absorbs different amounts of radiation due to the tilt of its axis.
  • the tropics (23.5S- 23.5N) receives the most radiation.
  • the temperate zones (23.5-66.5 N and S) are regions or moderate temperature.
  • the polar zones (66.5 to poles N and S) receive less radiation due to it striking at a angle.

Topographic effects

  • water effects the climate by making it warmer or cooler at coastal areas than it is farther inland.
  • temperatures in the lower atmosphere generally decrease with altitude. causing mountain climates to be cooler.
  • the windward side of a mountain is usually wet and cool well the leeward side is generally hot and dry.

Air masses

  • two of the main causes of weather are the movement and interaction of air masses.
  • air masses are effected by where they are created due to the radiation and moisture of the area.
  • average weather conditions of a region are similar to that of the air masses that form there.