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What factors determine the climate?

The two most important factors in the climate of an area are temperature and precipitation. The yearly average temperature of the area is obviously important, but the yearly range in temperature is also important. Some areas have a much larger range between highest and lowest temperature than other areas. Likewise, average precipitation is important, but the yearly variation in rainfall is also important. Some areas have about the same rainfall throughout the year. Other areas have very little rainfall for part of the year and a lot of rainfall for the other part of the year.

What is the difference between weather and climate?

Weather is the state of the atmosphere from day to day. It includes temperature, atmospheric pressure, clouds, wind, and precipitation. Climate is the long-term average of the weather. It is observed over periods of many years, decades, and centuries. In many areas of the United States, the daily high temperature or the daily low temperature can vary by as much as 30 degrees F from day to day. In contrast, the average temperature for a whole year seldom varies by more than one degree.


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